Unionville fought off the wind and the Pioneers, before finishing runner up for second straight year By Dave Conard Sports Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
GRATERFORD—Unionville and head coach Sharon Largent got to spend some quality time with friends of theirs, in many ways, on Friday afternoon as the top seeded Indians took the court against a very well known foe Conestoga with the District One title up for grabs.
“We know some how we are going to see Unionville,” said Conestoga head coach Jonathan Goodman. “We expect it, they are such a solid team, we are always thinking about the match ups, we know our singles are always going to be a coin toss as we are so evenly matched, it the doubles that is always where the challenge comes.”
Unionville, which got a sensational semi final round effort out of sophomore Johnny Wu and senior Michael Furr, again was fueled by the dynamic duo’s intensity as they claimed two vital points with Furr defeating Kevin Wang in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 and Wu beating Jason Sutker 6-2, 6-4.
Following the action on the main court the onus of winning the district championship fell squarely on the shoulders of freshman Ross Fitsimmons in third singles and both doubles partings.
“I just try to stay focused on my game,” said Johnny Wu. “The windy conditions today really, added some challenges. Lobs just didn’t work and served with the wind really made it tough to keep it in. This is a great thing to playing for the district championship.”
“We got a great effort out of Johnny today, he really responds to the encouragement our players gave him,” said Unionville head coach Sharon Largent. “Of course, I am disappointed we could not win the title, but we knew coming how tough Conestoga is and it came down to us winning one of the doubles matches, who played great in the semis, but we just could get it going in the final.”
In first doubles the Pioneers team of Josh Sutker and Eric yen proved to be too much for Logan Moore and Patrick Yan, who dominated in the semis, as the Stoga paring claimed a straight set win 6-1, 6-1.
In third singles Conestoga’s Brian Gordecki won in straight sets over Fitsimmons 6-2, 8-0 to set the stage for the final match to decide the championship.
“I love playing in the team events like this,” said Indians senior Mike Furr. “It’s great to feed off of each other’s energy, when you play in the singles tournaments you miss that.
Kevin and I are good friends and he actually beat me in the semis of the singles bracket so it was great to get a win here when it helps my team.”
The second double which took center stage battled to a tiebreaker in the first set with the Indians duo of Peter Mason and Brent Jiang battling Conestoga’s Ryan Swope and Chris Bowles before losing the extra frame 7-5.
Swope and Bowles claimed a 6-1 victory in the second set to secure the win for the Pioneers for the second straight year.
“We are not done with playing Unionville yet,” added Goodman. “I would not be surprised to play them for the stat title as well, a lot of thing have to happen to get there, but I know they will do well in their side of the bracket.”
The PIAA State team class AAA championship gets underway Tuesday with Unionville slated to play the District 12 winner at the Arthur Ashe YTC at 1pm. The winner will advance to the championship weekend at the Hershey Racquet Club
Conestoga will start out the upper half of the bracket with a match with Dallastown High School at the Tennis Adiction Sports Club in Exton at 1 pm on Tuesday.
“If we play them again in the state tournament we will have to find a way to get a point with out doubles,” added Largent. “We are so evenly matched it will be fun if we get another chance at them. I am very proud of our team getting this far with some very young players like Johnny and Ross having such a big impact on our success.”
District One class AAA final
Conestoga 3 Unionville 2
Furr defeated Wang 6-3, 6-3
Wu defeated Sutker 6-2, 6-4
Grodecki defeated Fitsimmons 6-2, 6-0
Sutker/Yen defeated Moore/Yan 6-1, 6-1
Swope/ Bowles defeated Mason/Jiang 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
Unionville’s road to the district final
Unionville 5 Penn Wood 0
Unionville 5 Lower Merion
Unionville 3 Council Rock North 2
Conestoga 3 Unionville 2 (District Runner up medal)