Two longtime friends met at Lehigh University in the District 11 Class AAA singles championship on Monday. Parkland's Nick Kshatri, the tournament's top seed, went up against Matt FitzMaurice of Emmaus, who was seeded second. The two have had some impressive matches during their high school careers and Monday's match was no different. This time, it was FitzMaurice coming away with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win and a trip to the PIAA Tournament in Hershey later this month.
It's extremely difficult for a high school baseball team to go undefeated. And in some cases, a loss along the way can actually be good for the team's outlook on the season.
A week ago, Parkland ran into a hungry Northampton team that not only handed the Trojans their first loss of the season, but threw a no-hitter at them, adding insult to injury.
The good news is that the next day, Parkland picked up their rain-suspended game with Emmaus and expanded the 6-0 first inning lead that they picked up when the game started back on April 7, turning it into a 13-0 rout.
The Lady Trojans are making softball look very easy this season. After a 17-0 drubbing of Central Catholic on Monday, Parkland is now 15-1 overall and 12-0 in the EPC. They've now outscored their opponents 170-13 this season, with their pitchers throwing eight shutouts and not allowing more than three runs in any one game.
Meanwhile, their offense has scored double-digit runs in eight games and have been held under five runs just twice.
Parkland has already clinched the Skyline Division title and a trip to the District 11 Tournament.
As if on cue, bad weather returned just in time to postpone the first day of the East Penn Conference Tennis Tournament last Friday at Parkland High School.
The early morning rain moved the tournament's opening rounds to Saturday, when players worked their way through matches to get the semifinal round in each of the six brackets. The semis, finals and consolation matches will be played at a later date, which is still undetermined.
Sophomore pitcher Aubree Fritzinger has led Parkland (13-0, 10-0) to an unbeaten record so far in her first year as a starting pitcher. Last Tuesday night, she made her mark on the program by throwing a complete game no-hitter in a 5-0 win against Whitehall in front of the home crowd.
"This is big for her confidence," said head coach Barry Search. "She's a competitor and an athlete, and is just doing a great job for us."
She struck out five batters and walked two, with an error credited to the defense behind her.
You would think that the coach of a tennis team that is 10-0 on the season wouldn't have a care in the world. Not so with Parkland's Mike Hingston. A backlog of matches has prevented him from doing the part of his job that he loves best: coaching.
"I have found it to be a little frustrating, because it seems like we've never really established a momentum," said Hingston. "I mean we have record-wise and we've played well and competed well, but the contact time in practice, sometimes, is where you get a sense of where your team is and a little more of a connection.
Last season, Emmaus provided one of the tougher matches for Parkland tennis. This season, Emmaus lost a couple key players to graduation and Parkland may be even stronger than it was a year ago, which led to the Trojans sweeping their recent match with their division rival.
Emmaus coach Dmitri Diamandopoulos tipped his hat to Parkland as he watched play throughout the afternoon.
Diamandopoulos pointed out the depth on Parkland's roster and believes that even their No. 3 singles player, Peter Harrison, could be a No. 1 player on many of the local high school teams.
With a full 10 years of dominating the Lehigh Valley Conference in tennis, the Parkland boys team looks to take its success to the new Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Michael Hingston comes into his third season as the team's coach and has a strong core of returning players to lean on for the inaugural season of the EPC.
Siena Salvaggio turned silver into gold. The Parkland swimmer came home from the PIAA Championship Meet at Bucknell University with two gold medals for her performance in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events after capturing silver in those events last year.
The Parkland girls put on an impressive showing at last weekend's PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships, finishing fifth in the team competition. While Siena Salvaggio led the way with two individual gold medals, there were a number of impressive showings in both individual and relay events.
Senior Erin Jordan, who will be entering the Naval Academy following graduation, finished fifth in the 500 freestyle event, just behind teammate Tori Connolly.