Tyler Lilie's high school tennis season began on a disheartening note.
The Dallastown junior tore a muscle in a leg on the first day of practice and ended up missing the first month of the season.
“It was very disappointing” Lilie said. “I didn't know how it was going to end up. I really wanted to get back, but the worst part, when I did get back, I was rusty.”
Lilie eventually got rid of the rust and became a key player for the Wildcats.
Wednesday Lilie helped his team secure a key victory when Dallastown defeated South Western 5-2 in a clash of York-Adams Division I unbeaten teams.
The victory allowed Dallastown to clinch at least a tie for the championship. The Wildcats can win the crown outright by defeating Spring Grove on Friday.
Lilie, after wining the No. 5 singles match in straight sets, teamed with Nathan Swartz to take the No. 2 doubles match, 6-0, 6-1.
Holden Koons and Sachin Venkatesh also earned singles points for the Wildcats, and Koons and Venkatesh joined to take the No. 1 doubles match, 6-3, 6-2.
“It felt great to win a match like this," Lilie said. “Many of us are juniors and our first season was one of the worst in Dallastown tennis, and to get here to where we are today is a great feeling.”
The arrival of the extremely talented Koons on the scene was a huge factor in Dallastown's title run. The freshman unleashed a huge serve on Wednesday, smashing 21 service winners in his straight-sets singles victory.
“I served great today," Koons said.” “My serve has been up and down, but today I hit my serve hard.”
Koons was thrilled to be part of a championship team in his first varsity season.
“It's great to win this match, this was our first goal," Koons said. “Districts is next, hopefully we can win that too.”
Wednesday's match consumed 3 1/2 hours.
“This is the way it usually goes with South Western, we are here after 7 o'clock," Dallastown head coach Mark Koons said. “I think that is the last five or six years we have played South Western in a big match, and I do not know how many have come down to doubles, several at least.”
Koons said South Western was one of the matches he and his team circled on the calendar at the beginning of the year.
“Obvously, this one was significant because of our division”, Koons said. “It's never easy playing against South Western.”
OTHER BOYS' TENNIS
York Catholic 5, Gettysburg 2: At Springettsbury Park, the Irish handed Gettysburg its first York-Adams Division II loss. The Warriors fell to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the division. York Catholic improved to 7-2 and 5-1. Michael Andrews (No. 1), Alberto Brunno (No. 2), Nicholas Gingerich (No. 3) and Mason Elliott (No. 4) picked up straight-set singles wins for the Irish to sew up the win early. Andrews and Elliott also teamed for a win at No. 1 doubles.
Central York 4, Red Lion 3: At Red Lion, the Panthers swept the doubles to rally for the win. Chris Maderitz and Connor Bacha won at No. 1 doubles, while Kyle Varone and Mike Visco won at No. 2 doubles. Bacha and Varone also won at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Alex Shue (No. 1), Chase McKnight (No. 4) and Riley Krout (No. 5) earned singles wins for Red Lion.
York Suburban 5, Susquehanock 2: At Glen Rock, the Trojans captured the divisional match in doubles, with Tyr Abendschoen and Tom Platts combining to win the No. 1 match, while Jacob Arbetman and Shobit Kharuna combined to win the No. 2 match. Abendschoen, Arbetman, and Drew Thompson also picked up singles victories for the Trojans. For the Warriors, Brendan Paules and Zachary Beam each won a singles match.
New Oxford 7, West York 0: At New Oxford, the Colonials only dropped three games during all of singles play while cruising to victory. The closest match was Josiah Forry’s, 6-2, 6-0 victory against Ben Fairlamb at No. 2 singles.
Spring Grove 7, Dover 0: At Dover, the Rockets received straight-set singles victories from Grant Wierman, Garrett Leib, Jeffery Bauer, Blake Harlacher and Dominick Ott.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org