If you asked Central York girls’ tennis coach Mckenzie Krout what her expectations were for the 2019 season back in August, her answer would be a lot different now than it was then.
In just her second season at the helm for the Panthers, the former Red Lion High School and York College standout has taken the program to new heights.
Last week’s victory against the Lions clinched at least a share of the York-Adams League Division I title.
Wednesday afternoon the Panthers finished off the regular season in style. CY claimed a 4-1 triumph over York Suburban to earn the school its first girls’ tennis title in a decade (2009).
“I was very surprised,” Krout said moments after her team earned the match-clinching third point at York Suburban High School. “Last year we finished right in the middle of the pack, so I kind of expected about the same this year.”
This year's Central team sits at 11-1 overall and finished 9-0 in the division.
Youngsters lead way: The addition of a new freshman to the program, however, tilted the scales in Central’s favor. Rachel Haupt stepped in to take over the No. 1 spot that was held last year by another freshman in Audrey Stewart. Haupt has been a reliable cog at the top spot, earning the team a point in the vast majority of matches. She's 7-2 in divisional matches.
Stewart, now a sophomore, moved down to be the team’s No. 2 player, a position that Krout said Stewart accepted without a fuss. That selfless quality is also a trait of the team as well.
“They’re all a really tight-knit group,” said Krout, who is also the CY boys’ tennis coach in the spring. “They all really root for each other and are fun to coach.”
Big win vs. Dallastown: The biggest match of the year took place a few weeks ago when the Panthers knocked off a Dallastown program that won or shared the past five Y-A D-I titles. The CY girls earned a 3-2 triumph back on Sept. 9 when the No. 2 doubles team earned a three-set victory.
“It came down to doubles and everyone was cheering for every single point,” Krout said. “That was very exciting too.”
That triumph was a little bittersweet for Haupt. The freshman fell in the No. 1 singles match against Dallastown’s Megan Salaga, but was happy to watch her team earn a milestone victory.
“She’s really good,” Haupt said. “I put my all in to that match, but she won, but it’s OK. It was stressful to watch the doubles teams because you just want them to win and, in the end, they did.”
Possible rematch: There’s a good chance that Haupt will have a chance to square off against Salaga again during the Y-A 3-A individual tournament next month. Haupt is already getting prepared for that possibility.
“I know that I need to move my feet better,” she said. “And really place my shots.”
The rematch could come even before that in the District 3 3-A team tennis draw. The Panthers are currently rated sixth in the power ratings, two spots ahead of the Wildcats and directly ahead of the only team that defeated the CY girls this season, Hempfield.
The Black Knights earned a 3-2 triumph in the season opener.
“I know that all of the girls were really nervous with it being the first match of the season,” Krout said. “And hopefully it would be a different outcome if we were to play them again.”
In Wednesday's win over Suburban, Haupt and Stewart each earned straight-set singles wins. Central got straight-set doubles wins from Maria Houseman and Brenna Bonene at No. 1 and Prital Prabhu and Sarah Gao at No. 2. Suburban's Abby Miller won a three-setter at No. 3 singles.
OTHER GIRLS' TENNIS
Kennard-Dale 5, Biglerville 0: At Fawn Grove, the Rams wrapped up a perfect York-Adams Division II season with the easy win. The D-II crown is K-D's first-ever girls' tennis championship. The Rams improved to 14-0 overall and finished 8-0 in the division. K-D currently sits No. 3 in the District 3 Class 2-A power ratings. The Rams received straight-set singles victories from Brianna Miller, Megan Hawkins and Brianna Serruto. In doubles, Julie Rubelmann and Grace Maccarelli won the No. 1 match, while Shannon Fletcher and Victoria Santoriello won the No. 2 match.
Spring Grove 5, Dover 0: At Spring Grove, the Rockets received straight-set singles victories from Sara Diehl, Shannon Ruby and Jillian Hamilton. In doubles, Maddie Groomes and McKayla Fetrow won the No. 1 match, while Briana Haines and Anne Lawrence won the No. 2 match.
Northeastern 3, Red Lion 2: At Manchester, the Bobcats captured two of the three doubles matches to secure the victory. Katie Harrison and Lael Marshall won the No. 1 doubles match, while Olivia Riek and Laura Shearer won the No. 2 match. Teammate Jillian Laughman won the No. 1 singles match in straight sets. For the Lions, Emma Hively and Zoe Watson each captured a straight-set singles match.
Susquehannock 3, Dallastown 2: At Glen Rock, the Warriors captured both doubles matches to clinch the Division I home victory. Megan Cramer and Diana Kelbaugh won the No. 1 doubles match in three sets, while Julia Thomas and Livia Haines won the No. 2 match. In singles, Abby Martin won the No. 3 match in three sets. For the Wildcats, Meghan Salaga won the No. 1 singles match, while Grace Heird won the No. 2 match. Dallastown fell to 10-3 overall and 7-2 in D-I. Susquehannock improved to 7-6 and 5-4.
West York 4, Bermudian Springs 1: At West York, the Bulldogs got singles wins from Alisa Steele and Lexi Sanderson. West York's doubles winners were Sadie Mikula/Amara Weaver and Alexa Stackhouse/ Elise Darr. West York improved to 10-4 overall and finished 6-2 in York-Adams Division II.
Eastern York 13, Hanover 0: At Hanover, Hannah Sellers and Kyrsten Strange led the Golden Knights to the easy home victory by each scoring two goals and adding one assist. Sarah Fisher scored two goals, while Makenna Sutherland scored one goal and added one assist.
Red Lion 5, Gettysburg 0: At Red Lion, Kennedy Bratton and Kaiya Edwards each had a goal and an assist to lead Red Lion. Coda Fisher, Hannah Downs and Sarah Gillmen also scored.
Eastern York 2, Hanover 0: Gavin Donnelly and Logan Kessler scored the goals and Ethan Nikolaus made 10 saves to lead Eastern York to the win.
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