TENNIS: Dallastown class of Division I in 2016
- Dallastown is the favorite to win Division I for a third straight year.
- The Wildcats are 3-0 on the season, including a 5-0 blanking of Central York on Monday.
- Delone Catholic and Bermudian Springs are the class of Division II.
New season, new format, but one thing hasn't changed: Dallastown will again be a power in Division I of the York-Adams Girls' Tennis League.
The Wildcats served notice that they will be in the title mix by opening division play on Monday with a 5-0 victory over Central York.
When the teams met last year, Dallastown edged Central, 4-3. The Wildcats went on to win the division, their second crown in a row and fourth in the last six years.
Last year's match was played under the 5-2 format (five singles matches, two doubles matches) while this year's match took place under the newly-implemented 3-2 format (three singles and two doubles).
Central graduated five seniors from its 2015 team including York-Adams Class AAA singles champion Yvonne Peters-Washington who also teamed with another senior, Jenn Elder, to capture the doubles crown.
Dallastown, meanwhile, returned three singles players, all of whom earned straight set victories on Monday.
Christie Friedrich earned a hard-fought victory at No. 1, while Madi Reed and Morgan Kistler triumphed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Friedrich turned back Central's Maddie Mummert, 6-2, 6-4 in a hard-hitting match.
"Maddie, she hit a lot of winning shots that I couldn't even get my racket on," Friedrich said. "The key thing for me was to just stay calm. I wanted to have fun with (the match) and not take it too seriously."
Friedrich's serving was also a key to her victory.
The senior pounded 20 service winners while double faulting just twice. Friedrich held serve every time.
"My serve has gotten better because I try to use my lefty spin to pull other players off the court," she said. "I think I've gotten more consistent overall since last year and I'm working on hitting deeper shots."
Dallastown head coach Deb Gable was impressed with Friedrich's performance.
"She was really steady while working pace on the ball," Gable said. "She was primarily putting the heat on her shots, but she changed pace at times, too."
For the first time in her career, Friedrich is the only member of her family on the team.
Her sister, Angela, is no longer a teammate. Angela is a freshman at Duquesne University.
"It's very different," Friedrich said. "We were a (doubles) team for three years. But my new doubles partner, Madi is great, too."
Under the new format, Friedrich won't be playing doubles during the regular season because a player who competes in singles cannot compete in doubles, too. However, doubles play will still be available in the postseason tournaments.
Friedrich thinks the 3-2 format will be a plus for the Wildcats as they pursue their goal — another York-Adams team title.
"I think we have a really strong and deep team especially with the new format," she said. "We also have a freshman (Meghan Salaga) who's really good."
The Wildcats, 3-0 on the young season, have a challenge looming next week when they host New Oxford.
The Colonials feature Dagney Markle, who put together a great run in last year's York-Adams Class AAA singles tournament, taking second place. Friedrich finished fourth in the singles event while she and her sister came in second in the doubles competition.
Division II outlook: In York-Adams Division II, the Neudecker sisters are back which is good news for Delone Catholic, the 2015 division winner.
Alyssa Neudecker won the Class AA singles title and she and her sister, Ellie, combined for the gold medals in the doubles event.
Brooke Yurick, of Bermdian Springs, returns after winning the bronze medal in the 2015 singles tournament.
York Suburban, the runner-up team to Delone in Division II a year ago, will count again on Samantha Clancy, who teamed with Bailey Cross, to finish third in the Class AA doubles tournament.
Those in favor of the 3-2 say the team matches won't be as long because all the individual matchups will begin at the same time. Proponents also say that the switch to 3-2 puts the York-Adams League in line with the format used in the district and state tournaments.
The 3-2, though, requires more players than the 5-2 (seven versus five) which may be a hardship for smaller schools with less players available.
OTHER TENNIS RESULTS
South Western 4, Dover 1: At Dover, Michaela Sentz and Sabrina Lam led the Mustangs to the victory by each capturing a singles victory. For Dover, Anna Becker won the No. 3 singles match.
Biglerville 3, Kennard-Dale 2: At Biglerville, the Canners received singles victories from Morgan Orndorff and Emily Glass to lead them to the victory. For the Rams, Brooke Siebert won the No. 2 singles match.
Northeastern 3, Spring Grove 2: At Manchester, the Bobcats won at No. 3 singles and the two doubles matches to defeat the Rockets. Courtnee Hoff won at singles for Northeastern, while the teams of Brynn MacDonald/Lindsey Myers and Mansi Patel/Kirsten Harrison won at doubles for the Bobcats. Tiffany Hoke won at No. 1 singles for Spring Grove, while Victoria Blymier won at No. 2 singles.
Delone Catholic 5, West York 0: At McSherrystown, the Squirettes received singles victories from Alyssa Neudecker and Ellie Neudecker to led them to the home victory.
Susquehannock 5, Red Lion 0: At Glen Rock, the Warriors had little trouble sweeping their home match against the Lions. Jessica McDonald, Julianne Cassady and Molly Hogan won in singles for Susquehannock, while the teams of Mia Kobylski/Kate Cramer and Allana Jones/Jenny Sproul won in doubles for the Warriors.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com