Aug. 22—NEWTON TWP. — It had been four days since Susan Arp played tennis, but she showed no signs of rust.
After a summer of practice and intense challenge matches, the defending District 2 Class 3A singles champion enjoyed a short break and visited family in Michigan. The time away appeared to serve her well, as she looked sharp in Abington Heights’ season opener against Delaware Valley at the Middle School courts Monday afternoon.
Playing with her usual almost bashful confidence, Arp scored a straight sets win over Noelle Holderith, an up-and-coming player at No. 1 singles, to spark the Lady Comets to a 5-0 win in the Lackawanna League.
Last season, Arp defeated Holderith, 6-0, 6-2, in the second round on the way to her district title.
“I was super excited for our first match,” said Arp, who also attended the Detroit Lions exhibition game against Jacksonville on vacation. “We wanted to come out and have a lot of energy. My teammates were really hyping me up, and I had fun.”
Arp, a junior, started her third season in the singles lineup. She used accurate serving and quickness to get to the ball in a 6-1, 6-2 win and was the first player to finish.
“My vacation got me a little bit of a break from our competitive challenge matches within the team,” Arp said. “When I came back, I was really ready to go.
“I served well. Noelle got a lot better since the last time I played her. I also hit some pretty good groundstrokes.”
Abington Heights has a deep and talented team that is led by Arp, last season’s Lackawanna League Class 3A player of the year.
Leelah Farrell is a returning All-Region player in her own right, but she still had butterflies as she made her debut for a new team. The transfer from Scranton Prep shook off her early jitters and, motivated by her teammates, pulled away from a 3-2 first set to win 6-3, 6-0 over Jessica Willson at No. 2 singles.
“I am lucky enough to have joined a really amazing team,” Farrell said. “Everyone here is really great. It did help me with some of the first match nerves. The team has been very welcoming and supportive, so I really feel lucky.
“I had to lock in and focus, and that really helped me. I am excited about my senior season.”
Sona Hanumali, who earned all-star honors last season as the No. 3 player for Abington Heights, showed off an improved game. While having played a lot of tennis leading up to this point, there is still a high level of excitement when the new season starts, and she rose to the occasion with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ceanna Williams that clinched the team win.
“Starting off, I focused on my serve,” Hanumali said. “From there, I focused on my spin and saw what worked and didn’t work. It is great that we had such competitive tryouts last week. I was able to get used to our courts and playing outdoors with the sun and the wind. Those matches really prepared me for the start of the season.”
Abington Heights swept the doubles as well.
Mary Booth and Bernie Mullin defeated Kate Tamplin and Emma Stricker, 6-3, 6-1, and Amishi Amit and Nevaeh Vendrell beat Olivia VanTassell and Sara Gagnon, 6-1, 6-3.
At Penn State Scranton, Maia Philbin and Tejshree Patel won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Scranton to a 3-2 win over Mid Valley. Lismarie Mercado won at No. 3 singles for Mid Valley.
At Valley View, Erika Badner, Sarah Niemiec and Alaina Burke won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Wallenpaupack to a 4-1 win. Tessa Stafursky-Ally Stafursky won at No. 1 doubles for Valley View.
At North Pocono, Ava Hannon and Natalie Pagotto won their singles matches to lead the Lady Trojans to a 4-1 win over Montrose. Cara Evans won at No. 1 singles for Montrose.
At Dunmore, Celia Emiliani, Katie Fahey and Zarina Mustafini won their singles matches in straight sets to lead West Scranton to a 5-0 win.
At the University of Scranton, Hannah Pisarcik, Sadie Pappas and Claire Polishan won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Holy Cross to a 5-0 win over Honesdale.
At McDade Park, Leah Pfeiffer, Anavi Nieves and Anna Lima won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Riverside to a 5-0 win over Western Wayne.
Abington Heights 5 Delaware Valley 0
Singles: Susan Arp over Noelle Holderith, 6-1, 6-2; Leelah Farrell over Jessica Willson, 6-3, 6-0; Sona Hanumali over Ceanna Williams, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: Mary Booth-Bernie Mullin over Kate Tamplin-Emma Strickler, 6-3, 6-1; Amishi Amit-Nevaeh Vendrell over Olivia VanTassell-Sara Gagnon, 6-1, 6-3.
Records: AH 1-0, DV 0-1.
Scranton 3, Mid Valley 2
Singles: Maia Philbin (SCR) over Olivia Brzozowski, 6-0, 6-0; Tejshree Patel (SCR) over Abby Mackey, 6-0, 6-4; Lismarie Mercado (MV) over Jordan Elliott, 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles: Natalie Hricenak-Macie Siwinski (MV) over Caroline Cobley-Diya Patel, 0-6, 6-3, 19-17; Bhakti Patel-Divya Patel (SCR) over Sam Magliocchi-Carolyn Chakiris, 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-4.
Records: SCR 1-0, MV 0-1.
Wallenpaupack 4, Valley View 1
Singles: Erika Badner (WAL) over Avianna Santarelli, 6-3, 6-1; Sarah Niemiec (WAL) over Sarah Sweeney, 6-4, 6-4; Alaina Burke (WAL) over Ella Swingle, 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles: Tessa Stafursky-Ally Stafursky (VV) over Soleil Wright-Olivia Kogan, 6-1, 6-3; Cadance Danielski-Kelly Hotaling (WAL) over Emily Moyles-Emma Wood, 3-6, 6-2, 10-6.
Records: WAL 1-0, VV 0-1.
North Pocono 4, Montrose 1
Singles: Cara Evans (MON) over Nora Pencek, 6-0, 6-0; Ava Hannon (NP) over Paley Adams, 2-6, 6-2, 10-6; Natalie Pagotto (NP) over Jessica Carey, 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles: Morgan Carr-Natasha Treitz (NP) over Gelina Smith-Lydia Sinkovich, 6-3, 6-1; Ella Jardine-Kara Erickson (NP) over Harleigh Smith-Breanna Marcy, 6-1, 6-2.
Records: NP 1-0, MON 0-1.
West Scranton 5, Dunmore 0
Singles: Celia Emiliani over Brynn Kochis, 6-1, 6-3; Katie Fahey over Mia Novak, 6-1, 6-2; Zarina Mustafini over Krithika Krishnan, 7-5, 6-0.
Doubles: Katherine Barnansky-Nora Frounfelker over Maggie Jimmie-Loren Spudic, 6-3, 6-2; Nina Emiliani-Julia Farkaly over Sasha Novak-Danielle DePietro, 6-2, 6-2.
Records: WS 1-0, DUN 0-1.
Holy Cross 5, Honesdale 0
Singles: Hannah Pisarcik over Mandy Grossman, 6-4, 7-5; Sadie Pappas over Lucy Harrington, 6-1, 6-2; Claire Polishan over Madison Candela, 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles: Katie Martinez-Emma Woody over Rory Decker-Casey Morton, 6-1, 6-2; Anna Polishan-Savannah Killino over Lilian Hawkins-Dana Martin, 6-4, 6-2.
Records: HC 1-0, HON 0-1.
Riverside 5, Western Wayne 0
Singles: Leah Pfeiffer over Cassidy Zeiler, 6-0, 6-1; Anavi Nieves over Karina Booths, 6-0, 6-0; Anna Lima over Breanna McGlarel, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: Brisa Castillo-Mia Scotti over Maddie McClure-Bella Kolp, 6-0, 6-0; Jessdaly Torres-Sarah McCullon over Emma Spewack-Alicia Wertman, 6-0, 6-0.
Records: RIV 1-0, WW 0-1.
Michael Maslanka birdied No. 16 on back nine at Panorama and teamed with Ben Kulikowski to sweep three points in the first group for Riverside in a 9-0 win over Carbondale Area in a Lackawanna League Division II match.
Robbie Castaldi also birdied No. 16 for Riverside. Tyler Donato had a birdie on No. 14 for Carbondale Area.
Individuals: Ben Kulikowski over Tyler Donato, 2-up; Michael Maslanka over Jacob Berg, 5 and 3; Mason Rickert over Jake Rosler, 5 and 3; Jason Posluszny over Nick Sopko, 4 and 2; Robbie Castaldi over Preston Casey, 4 and 3; Kyle Connor over Keegan McDonald, 5 and 4.
Better-ball: Kulikowski-Maslanka over Donato-Berg, 4 and 2; Rickert-Posluszny over Rosler-Sopko, 5 and 3; Castaldi-Connor over Casey-McDonald, 5 and 4.
Records: RIV 2-1, CA 0-3.
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