CLARKS SUMMIT — For the second consecutive year, two Abington Heights players competed for the District 2 Class 3A Boys Tennis Championship.
And, for the second year in a row, senior Sahas Chandragiri, the top seed, claimed the crown. After downing Rishi Mulloth last season, he topped third-seeded Brandon Ostrowski, 6-2, 6-4, on Friday, May 13 at Birchwood Tennis & Fitness Club.
“The momentum definitely shifted throughout the second set,” Chandragiri said. “(Brandon’s) definitely the fittest and one of the most mentally tough kids I know. I knew he was going to give me a fight. It was all about keeping my head in the match.”
Abington Heights head coach Tom Lavelle has been impressed with Chandragiri’s development throughout the past few seasons.
“He started as a doubles player as a freshman and always had an incredible amount of athleticism, speed, quickness and incredible hands,” Lavelle said. “Throughout the four years, he’s really made a successful transition from doubles to singles in his junior and senior years.”
Chandragiri will face Sidd Rajupet of Fox Chapel in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 3A Boys’ Singles Tennis Championship on Friday, May 27 at the Hershey Racquet Club.
“He’s matured a lot in terms of understanding the game and developing leadership qualities,” Lavelle said of Chandragiri. “It’s been an incredible honor to have been his coach due to his talent, maturity, poise and sportsmanship.”
Lavelle was also proud of Ostrowski effort, specially his ability to rebound for a rocky start.
“A ton of credit deserves to go Brandon’s way,” Lavelle said. “The score didn’t necessarily tell the entire story of the first set. Sahas, at the net, was just a little bit too much to handle. Brandon made adjustments and continued to keep it neck and neck throughout the second set. He’s meant a lot to the team this year.”
The Comets have had at least one representative in the title match in eight of the last nine years and have won seven championships.
“Our kids are incredibly dedicated, hard working, talented and love the game,” Lavelle said.
Ostrowski defeated second-seeded Devin Paulison, of Delaware Valley, 6-1- 6-1, to reach the final while Chandragiri topped Hazleton Area’s Wister Yuhas, 6-2, 6-3.
Scranton Prep’s Peter Kazmierczak, the top seed, fell in the District 2 Class 2A title match to Valley View’s Joey Ferretti, the second seed, 5-7, 3-6.
“They kept going back and forth,” Scranton Prep head coach Kathleen McKenna said. “It was just one break of serve and a couple of errors that cost Peter. It was a great match.”
Clarks Summit resident Tony Kutz, of Scranton Prep, was defeated by Ferretti, 4-6, 5-7, in the semifinals.
“He played really well in the second set,” McKenna said of third-seeded Kutz. “He came to the net and volleyed more, and put more balls away. I thought he kept his head and kept bouncing back.”
Fourth-seed Eamon Gibbons, of Wyoming Seminary, fell to Kazmierczak, 3-6, 4-6, in the Class 2A semifinals.
Despite the loss, the junior from Clarks Summit was pleased with his play during the tournament.
“It was a good experience,” Gibbons said. “This was my first time in the semifinals of singles districts and I think I held up pretty well under the pressure.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.