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D2 TENNIS: Scranton Prep, Abington Heights doubles teams claim gold

Oct. 16—CLARKS SUMMIT — All season, Scranton Prep and Abington Heights were considered the most talented tennis teams in District 2.

On Monday, they proved it again in doubles and had plenty to celebrate.

Scranton Prep's team of Alyssa Wigley and Lily Lengyel completed their sweep of the Class 2A tournament, while Abington Heights' duo of Sona Hanumali and Mary Booth struck gold in Class 3A in the District 2 championships at Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club.

Both teams advance to the PIAA Championships that start Nov. 3 at the Hershey Racquet Club. Wigley and Lengyel will play the runner-up from District 3, and Hanumali and Booth open against the third-place team from District 3.

By winning gold medals in doubles, both programs added to their championship hauls this fall.

Scranton Prep went undefeated in the Lackawanna League and won the District 2 Class 2A team title before the top-seeded team of Wigley and Lengyel faced teammates Emma Cuck and Ella Cohen in the doubles final.

Wigley and Lengyel formed a formidable partnership. This season, Wigley was the No. 1 singles player for the Classics, finished undefeated in the league and reached the semifinals of the District 2 singles tournament. Lengyel, a freshman, also posted an unbeaten record in the league at No. 2 singles and made the semifinals in the singles bracket.

They were overpowering throughout the doubles tournament. They won four consecutive matches in straight sets without losing a game, which included a 6-0, 6-0 win over Dallas' Sophia DePolo and Caitlin Finn in the semifinals earlier in the day.

"I think we were super excited to play doubles," Lengyel said. "We both really love it. We really did a good job cooperating on points. We really communicated well, and that is the most important thing in doubles."

In the final, they smashed winners with great velocity and crafted aggressive attacks. After leading, 4-0, they dropped one game before winning the first set 6-1, then claimed the title with a 6-2 second set.

"Lily and I have never really played doubles before, so I was extremely happy with our performance throughout the tournament," Wigley said. "I think we played amazing as a team. I am so proud of our performance, and I am proud of our teammates who we faced. They had an excellent match and gave us a real challenge."

Cuck, who played at No. 3 singles all season and was also undefeated, returned shots and carefully placed some winners. However, facing her teammates was a unique challenge.

"It stinks, because they also know all of my weaknesses," Cuck said. "It is tough to play against my teammates knowing that we are going to team states to play together. But I thought we played well in the semifinals. I think that we communicated well and learned how to play as a team."

Cuck and Cohen, the sixth seed in the tournament, defeated Montrose's Cara Evans, a District 2 Class 2A singles finalist, and her partner Paley Adams, 6-3, 7-5, to secure the all-Classics final.

"We played to our strengths, worked on our game, and pulled through with a win," Cohen said. "It was tough playing our teammates because we know how good they are. I am happy for them, and I am glad that we are all going on in the states."

In Class 3A, Hanumali and Booth made it a clean sweep of the district championships for Abington Heights, which won the team title and had Susan Arp win the singles gold.

The Lady Comets reached the final with an upset of Wallenpaupack's Erika Badner, who was seeking a second straight championship, and her teammate Alaina Burke, 6-1, 6-2.

It made for a special opportunity for Booth, who missed some time with an injury earlier in the season.

"We were just trying to get on the same page, and we didn't have to try to do too much," Booth said after accepting her giant Hershey candy bar from coach Kelly Arp. "We just had to stay in our own games and really be a team.

"This season was really tough for me. I fractured my wrist, so winning this proved that I worked hard to get to this point."

Hanumali, who had a smile from ear to ear after every winning point, and Booth were in sync and defeated Delaware Valley's Noelle Holderith and Jessica Willson, 6-4, 6-1.

"I am so thrilled," said Hanumali, who played No. 3 singles this season. "I am so happy that Mary and I get to join Susan at states. We are totally hitting Hersheypark afterwards.

"It was so much fun playing with Mary. We worked incredibly well together, which was great considering we only found out four days ago that we would be a team."

The silver medal completed a rewarding postseason for Holderith, who pushed Arp to three sets in the semifinals of the singles tournament.

"It feels really great because this is the first season where I have gotten any medals, so to earn two is really nice and exciting," Holderith said. "I think we proved what Delaware Valley tennis can do."

Holderith and Willson advanced to the final with a hard-fought win over Valley View's Avianna Santarelli and Emily Moyles. The Lady Warriors won the first set 6-2 and rallied from a 5-2 deficit to win 7-5.

"We fought really hard," Willson said. "I am glad that we were able to make a comeback and get to the final. This is really incredible."

DISTRICT 2 DOUBLES TOURNAMENT

CLASS 3A

Semifinals

6-Sona Hanumali-Mary Booth (Abington Heights) over 1-Erika Badner-Alaina Burke (Wallenpaupack), 6-1, 6-2; 3-Noelle Holderith-Jessica Willson (Delaware Valley) over Avianna Santarelli-Emily Moyles (Valley View), 6-4, 7-5.

Final

6-Hanumali-Booth (AH) over 3-Holderith-Willson (DV), 6-4, 6-1.

CLASS 2A

Semifinals

1-Alyssa Wigley-Lily Lengyel (Scranton Prep) over 5-Sophia DePolo-Catlin Finn (Dallas), 6-0, 6-0; 6-Emma Cuck-Ella Cohen (Scranton Prep) over 2-Cara Evans-Paley Adams (Montrose), 6-3, 7-5.

Final

1-Wigley-Lengyel (SP) over 6-Cuck-Cohen (SP), 6-1, 6-2.

Contact the writer: jbfawcett@scrantontimes.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on X