Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONParkland’s Nate Lyman winds up to return a shot during an early season match. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONParkland’s Nate Lyman winds up to return a shot during an early season match.

Tennis team bounces back from first loss

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Parkland boys tennis team suffered its lone setback of the season so far, in a 4-3 loss to Moravian Academy (6-0, 7-0) in a non-conference match last Friday. The good news is that the Trojans shook off that loss and came right back to beat Central Catholic (7-3, 8-3) in a convincing 7-0 fashion to keep their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference record perfect at 7-0 on the season.

Moravian Academy’s Zach Shaff was able to hand Nick Kshatri his first loss of the season, winning 6-2, 6-1 for the lone singles win. In doubles, the Lions picked up wins in two matches that went to three sets and picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win in number-two singles to take the match. The showdown at number one singles between Kshatri and Shaff was the featured match, with both seniors eyeing a big win for their team. Kshatri was the District 11 Class 3A runner up in singles last season, while Shaff was fourth in 2A competition.

The Trojans were without Kshatri in the match against the Vikings, but Nate Lyman and Nick Hawk moved up a step and Kishan Unjia stepped into the singles competition. None of them missed a beat in sweeping the three singles matches.

Parkland’s depth allowed it to cover for the loss of Kshatri just as the team did earlier in the season when Lyman missed a match. That depth is a definite key for the Trojans as the season continues.

“Sometimes, you have to do that, you have to move guys around,” said head coach Michael Hingston. “We’re fortunate because we have so many kids that could be playing higher on other teams and when they get a chance to play, they really want to show what they can do. It’s a constant competition.”

The list of undefeated teams in the EPC is now down to just two, Parkland and Nazareth (11-0, 11-0). The two teams meet tomorrow at Parkland in what should be the match of the season for both teams. The Blue Eagles have won their 11 matches by a combined score of 72-5 this season and have easily dispatched all of the top conference teams. Like Parkland, Nazareth has depth and has its top player, Ben Tauber back after he missed all of last season with an injury.

“At the beginning of the year when you looked around, you had to see that Nazareth was going to be tough,” said HIngston. “They’re a very deep team and they know how to play. That’s a match that we circled on the schedule very early on.”

Before the meeting with Nazareth, Parkland has another big conference match with rival Emmaus (7-1, 7-1), whose only blemish came at the hands of Nazareth last Friday. Emmaus is led by Matt FitzMaurice, who was able to get past Kshatri in districts last season to take the singles title and advance to states. Parkland will rely on overall depth to battle Emmaus and look to remain undefeated going into their match with the Blue Eagles.