Parkland girls tennis focuses on postseason
The 2019 Parkland girls tennis team has been awesome. Going into their Sept. 21 match with Moravian Academy, the Lady Trojans were 15-0 and virtually unstoppable.
But perfection is a tough business and proved unattainable when Moravian Academy dealt Parkland its first lost of the season in 4-3 thriller.
“It was one of the closest matches I’ve ever seen,” said Parkland head coach Michael Hingston.
It was also a part of a strategy Hingston devised to have the Lady Trojans play top out-of-conference schools.
“I said ‘we’re going to play against top competition,’” Hingston said. “You can learn something from playing a tough match.”
Those tough tests should prepare the girls for the challenges that await them in East Penn Conference competition, which starts Sept. 26 with district play opening on Sept. 30.
“There are a lot of moving parts in postseason play,” Hingston said. “Let’s be honest, we want to win a district title. But short term we need to take it one match at a time.”
Heading into the final regular season match of the season Sept. 23 against Whitehall, the coach has admired the consistency of his squad in defending a perfect record.
“We’ve been through the gauntlet,” he said.
Parkland’s three singles players - Joanna Wu, Jessica Tseo and freshman Leah Zolotareva - have been triple trouble for almost all opponents. In Sept. 17 match against a quality Emmaus squad, the trio went through their matches without losing a set. Wu disposed of the Green Hornets’ Mia Columbus 6-2, 6-0, while Tseo won a competitive match over a good tennis player in Jocelyn Chow, 6-3, 6-4. Zolotareva, who has been outstanding all year long for Hingston, downed Misa Hollinger with relative ease, 6-2, 6-1.
Another aspect of the Trojans’ superb season has been the depth of their doubles play. Going into the season, Hingston knew he had talent, but where the pieces fit was not clear. Things have worked out nicely for the Lady Trojans, as their doubles pairings have augmented the talent of each girl.
Punya Bhasin and Emma Halpin have meshed well, as have the duo of freshman Erin Joo and Anshinka Gupta. Kalia Miles and Anabel Stein have played solid tennis all season, with Sophia Lee and Maya Paul providing veteran leadership. Wu and Tseo have teamed to play number one doubles when the situation dictates.
Going into the postseason, Hingston hopes the girls are ready to put it all together and make a memorable run.