GIRLS' TENNIS: Colonials, Squires take doubles titles

  • New Oxford's Dagney Markle and Kam Balko won the York-Adams AAA girls' tennis doubles title.
  • Delone's Alyssa Neudecker and Ellie Neudecker won the York-Adams AA girls' tennis doubles crown.

HANOVER — Dagney Markle made New Oxford school history twice in the three days.

On her second historic occasion, Markle had help.

New Oxford's Dagney Markle, above, teamed with Kam Balko to win the York-Adams League Class AAA girls' tennis doubles title. John A. Pavoncello photo

The Colonials' senior teamed with sophomore Kam Balko on Monday to become the first New Oxford tennis players to win a York-Adams League doubles championship. This past Saturday, Markle became the first player from her school to capture a York-Adams singles title.

"It's pretty overwhelming," Markle said after she and Balko won the Class AAA doubles crown with a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Dallastown's Christie Friedrich and Madi Reed. " I took it one game at a time so I really wasn't looking toward the end game. Now, that it's here, I'm looking back and thinking, wow, it went as well as it could have gone, I think."

Delone duo win in AA: While Markle and Balko prevailed in AAA, Delone Catholic's Neudecker sisters, Alyssa and Ellie, took top honors in AA for the second straight year. The Neudeckers bested Kennard-Dale's Brooke Siebert and Brianna Miller, 6-2, 6-2.  Ellie Neudecker is also this year's AA singles champion.

Markle and Balko moved into the final by besting Central's Mady Mummert and Kara Holland, 6-4, 6-2. Freidrich  and  Reed  advanced by defeating a second Dallastown team, Meghan Salaga and Taylor Jones, 6-1, 6-1.

After winning the first set in the championship match, Markle and Balko lost the second set and trailed,4-2, in third-and-deciding set. They responded by winning three straight games to go up, 5-4. Friedrich and Reed stayed alive by winning the next game, but the New Oxford players took the next two games to earn the championship. Balko put away two shots at the net in the last game.

"It's amazing winning the title," Balko said. "We didn't do much doubles during the season, but Dagney and I have played together in the summer and winter in the past. When I heard we were going to be partners, I knew we were going to go far."

Markle felt that attacking the net and staying strong at the net were keys to the victory. Another key was not panicking when they were down, 4-2, in the third set.

"We needed to take a step back and take a deep breath," Markle said. "It is just a game. You need to relax and play through it and everything will be OK."

K-D's Siebert and Miller earned their place in the AA final by earning a 7-5, 6-2 decision in the semifinals over the second-seeded team of Morgan Orndorff and Mackenzie Bender from Biglerville. Seibert, a senior, and Miller, a freshman were seeded fourth..

"We bonded a lot over the year," Siebert said. "Neither one of us have been to districts before, and we're looking forward to that.:

Third-place matches: York Suburban's Liv Pindzola and Samantha Clancy won the AA third-place match, 6-2, 7-6 (1) over Orndorff and Bender. Central's Mummert and Holland took third in AAA by  outlasting Dallastown's Salaga and Jones, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The teams that finished first, second and third earned automatic berths in the District 3 Doubles Tournament.

Reach Dick VanO'Linda at