Dallastown finishes off dominant run to District 3 Class 3-A boys' tennis championship

DANTE GREEN
717-505-5418/@TaySean14
The Dallastown boys' tennis team is shown after winning the District 3 Class 3-A title on Wednesday.
Dallastown Bobby Nicholson, seen here in a file photo, paired with Anand Patel to win the No. 2 doubles match on Wednesday against Palmyra, 6-0, 6-1.

There are some days when teams just seem to have “it” and everything goes right.

This season, the Dallastown Wildcats seem to have “it” every time they touch the tennis court.

Unbeaten Dallastown rolled to the District 3 Class 3-A boys’ team tennis championship at the Hershey Racquet Club on Wednesday, beating previously unbeaten Palmyra, 3-0.

The Wildcats moved to 21-0.

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It was the first district 3-A crown for the winners since 2006 and the fifth overall district championship in program history. The perennial power snapped a three-match losing skid in the district finals after losing to Hershey in 2021, 2019 and 2018.

Wednesday’s match was a best-of-five contest, with three singles points and two doubles points at stake. The Wildcats only needed to finish three matches to earn the victory.

It was the first loss for Palmyra, who came in at 17-0.

Dallastown head coach Mark Koons credited his No. 2 doubles team of Bobby Nicolson and Anand Patel for setting the tone with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 triumph.

“For the first time this season we knew our opponent could play with our 1 and 2 (singles players). We knew today that they had the toughest matches,” Koons said. “Our other courts came through. Our No. 2 doubles team were off the court in around 40 minutes, and they set the tone for everybody.”

Offseason work pays off: The longtime coach also credited a strong offseason for getting his team this far.

“(The players) put a lot effort into being on the court, from last June until this point,” Koons said. “We came back from last year with better players and we had two good freshman contributors. We are 21-0 and we’ve been going strong all season.”

Team energy was high: Wildcats No.1 singles player Jonathan Arbittier said the team energy was good coming into the match and that made all the difference.

“We played very well, and it was a great team effort,” he said. “No. 2 doubles handled business early. The energy from everyone, even those who didn’t play, everyone was cheering everyone on and it got us going. We had a great team mentality. This season we have been really untied as a team and I just hope we can carry it through the (state) postseason.”

Moving on to states: It was Palmyra’s first time in a district final in program history. Both the Wildcats and Cougars will move on to the PIAA Class 3-A state playoffs.

Koons sees his team in the mix to win it all.

“We know we have to come back ready to play,” the coach said. “Everyone has to come and compete. It’s indoors the rest of the way and that benefits us. We have a lot of guys that play with power and their power resonates well with these courts. The courts are played fast.”

The other matches: Dallastown’s other two points on Wednesday came from the No. 1 doubles team of Jacob Horn and Andrew Chronister (6-4, 6-4) and No. 3 singles player Daniel Wu (6-3, 6-2).

At No. 1 singles, Arbittier won his first set, 6-3, but was down 3-5 in the second set when the match was halted.

At No. 2 singles, Hayden Koons won the first set, 7-5, but was losing the second set, 2-4, when the contest was stopped.

Wildcats didn't lose a match in district play: Dallastown went 10-0 overall in their three district matches.

“We battled on all five courts and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” Koons said. “To win the district tournament without losing (a point), I think it says a lot.”

Dallastown begins their state team journey on Tuesday against the fifth-place team from District 1.

Reach Dante Green at dgreen@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @TaySean14.