by Tom Utescher
Mount St. Joseph competes in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies and Penn Charter is a member of the Inter-Ac League, but the tennis teams from the two schools appeared very well matched when they met at PC last Tuesday afternoon.
Four of the seven contests were decided in super-tiebreakers that were played (in the interest of time) in lieu of a full third set, and the visiting Magic eked out a 4-3 victory. The Quakers regarded the encounter as more of a scrimmage; their league usually starts fall sports practices a week later than the Mount and the PIAA schools.
The early-season encounter had attracted quite a few spectators, happy to be outside in the warm sunny weather following the departure of tropical storm Irene.
PC took to the courts without its talented number two player, eighth grader Danielle Yanowsloky, while on the other hand the Magic’s number one from a year ago, current junior Jessica Bonet, suffered an injury before practice even began and may not be back at all this season.
In first singles, MSJ freshman Morgan Weiss won the opening set, 6-4. The hosts’ Margaux Losty, a sophomore who also excels in squash, rallied to capture the second set, 7-5, and then won a hard-fought tiebreaker, 10-7. PC also prevailed at the second spot in a bout between juniors, with Erin Lo outlasting visitor Mary Gorman, 6-3, 1-6, 14-12.
Number three Maureen Gallagher saved the Magic from a singles sweep, getting past fellow senior Emily Kurtz (a multi-year starter on PC’s softball team) 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.
Most of the doubles matches were decided in straight sets, starting with Mount St. Joe’s 6-3, 6-1 win in the first flight. Here, senior Maddie Kohler and junior Allison Murray overcame Erin Lo’s senior sister, Alexis, and her tenth-grade partner Emily Barkann, a new student at Penn Charter.
MSJ seniors Kaitlin Kiernan and Maddie Koestler captured a 7-6, 6-3 victory at second doubles against Quakers juniors Ryann Shaffer and Carly Stein. In the third spot, the Mount sent out senior twins Elizabeth and Emily Marley, but the siblings succumbed to Charter sophomore Liza Gendler and freshman Rebecca John in a pair of 6-4 sets.
The fourth doubles contest produced the fourth win overall in the match for the Mounties. Senior Saagarika Thanvi and junior Jessica Drossner (PC’s number one softball pitcher) breezed through the first set, 6-2, but were edged out in the second, 7-5, by Magic juniors Sarina Carr and Morgan Devine. The visiting duo continued to gather momentum, and rolled to a 10-2 win in the tiebreaker.