HS TENNIS: Mustafina leads West Scranton past Scranton in rivalry match

Aug. 30—SCRANTON — Zarina Mustafina is making the long journey back from a serious knee injury and gave West Scranton a lift against its most fierce rival.

Playing at No. 3 singles, Mustafina, who suffered a torn ACL last year during a powder puff football game, used some crafty shots that found openings for a straight-sets win over Jordan Elliott, leading the Lady Invaders to a 3-2 win over Scranton on Tuesday afternoon in a Lackawanna League girls tennis match.

It is her second win in her comeback, but one that felt especially good in the annual clash with the Lady Knights.

"This means a lot because I am coming back from an injury," said Mustafina, who wears a brace for support on her left knee. "All I want to do is kind of get back and show people that you can actually play the game and get to the ball when needed. Against Scranton, because we are rivals, it is always great to earn a win."

Mustafina showed no tentativeness, as she is still getting used to the brace. She moved the ball around the court and took aggressive chances at the right moments to grab a win and give the Lady Invaders an early advantage.

"The brace limits my movement. I usually shake it off. It is not bad, and I am getting used to it," Mustafina said. "I am going to try to just hit good shots and not rely on speed. I am just going to concentrate on hitting my shots."

After Mustafina earned the first point for the Lady Imvaders, Scranton fought back with a couple of wins in the other singles matches.

Maia Philbin, a returning All-Region player, defeated Celia Emiliani, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 singles, and Tejshree Patel beat Katie Fahey, 7-5, 6-1, at No. 2.

"It's nice that I get to play West for the final time on my home court," Philbin said. "I always have a fun time playing West because of the rivalry. It was a really good match; Celia played a really good game, but I am happy that I was able to come out and get a win for my team in my senior season."

West Scranton (2-1) clinched the win with Katherine Barnansky and Nora Frounfelker recovering to beat Diya Patel and Caroline Cobley 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles.

"I am just excited that we won," Barnansky said. "I used my slice and used more of my angle shots, and it worked."

Barnansky-Frounfelker fell behind 3-0 in the first set but came back to win 12 straight for the win that evened out the overall match.

"We were happy," Frounfelker said. "At the start of the first set, we weren't happy, but we figured it out. We just had to get used to the way that they were playing us, and we did a better job of communicating."

West Scranton clinched the win when Nina Emiliani-Julia Farkaly overtook Divya Patel-Bhakti Patel, 6-0, 7-6 (5).

At Valley View, Avianna Santarelli and Sarah Sweeney won their singles matches to lead the Cougars to a 4-1 win over Holy Cross. Claire Polishan won at No. 3 singles for Holy Cross.

At Dunmore, Alyssa Wigley, Lily Lengyel and Emma Cuck won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Scranton Prep to a 5-0 win.

At McDade Park, Erika Badner, Sarah Niemiec and Alaina Burke won their singles matches in straight sets to lead Wallenpaupack to a 5-0 win over Riverside.

At Honesdale, Mandy Grossman, Lucy Harrington and Madison Candela won their singles matches in straight sets to lead the Lady Hornets to a 3-2 win over Pittston Area in a nonleague match.

At Montrose, Cara Evans, Paley Adams and Jessica Carey won their singles matches in straight sets to lead the Lady Meteors to a 5-0 win over Wilkes-Barre Area in a nonleague match.

West Scranton 3, Scranton 2

Singles: Maia Philbin (SCR) over Celia Emiliani, 6-2, 6-2; Tejshree Patel (SCR) over Katie Fahey, 7-5, 6-1; Zarina Mustafina (WS) over Jordan Elliot, 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles: Katherine Barnansky-Nora Frounfelker (WS) over Diya Patel-Caroline Cobley, 6-3, 6-0; Nina Emiliani-Julia Farkaly (WS) over Divya Patel-Bhakti Patel, 6-0, 7-6 (5).

Records: WS 2-1, SCR 1-2.

Valley View, 4 Holy Cross 1

Singles: Avianna Santarelli (VV) over Hannah Pisarcik, 6-0, 6-2; Sarah Sweeney (VV) over Sadie Pappas, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4; Claire Polishan (HC) over Ella Swingle, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Doubles: Ally Stafursky-Tessa Stafursky (VV) over Emma Woody-Mia Sosa, 6-0, 6-0; Emily Moyles-Emma Wood (VV) over Katie Martinez-Alessandra Lynn, 6-1, 6-0.

Records: VV 2-1, HC 1-1.

Scranton Prep 5, Dunmore 0

Singles: Alyssa Wigley over Brynn Kochis, 6-0, 6-0; Lily Lengyel over Ava Ferraro, 6-0, 6-0; Emma Cuck over Krithika Krishnan, 6-0, 6-1

Doubles: Ella Cohen-Grace Devine over Maggie Jimmie-Loren Spudic, 6-2, 6-0; Hannah LaCoe-Nicole Kranovich over Sasha Novak-Danielle DePietro, 6-0, 6-0.

Records: SP 2-0, DUN 0-3.

Wallenpaupack 5, Riverside 0

Singles: Erika Badner over Leah Pfeiffer, 6-0, 6-3; Sarah Niemiec over Anna Lima, 6-0, 6-0; Alaina Burke over Anavi Nieves, 6-2, 6-0.

Doubles: Solely Wright-Olivia Kogan over Brisa Castillo-Mia Scotti, 6-2, 6-1; Abby Cykosky-Kelly Hotaling over Sarah McCullon-Jessdaly Torres, 6-0, 6-1.

Records: WAL 3-0, RIV 1-2.

Honesdale 3, Pittston Area 2

Singles: Mandy Grossman (HON) over Ayla Kieger, 6-2, 6-1; Lucy Harrington (HON) over Emily Hanna, 6-1, 6-4; Madison Candela (HON) over Sophia Mantaga, 6-4, 6-1.

Doubles: Ella Swan-Gabby Gaezkawski (PA) over Rory Decker-Casey Morton, 6-2, 6-1; Abiagil Kovac-Jayda Eilie (PA) over Lillian Hawkins-Dana Martin, 6-2, 4-6, 7-2.

Montrose 5, Wilkes-Barre Area 0

Singles: Cara Evans over Jimena Amigon, 6-0, 6-0; Paley Adams over Caitlyn Selkelsky, 6-2, 6-2; Jessica Carey over Aaralynn Mbaye, 6-1, 6-0.

Doubles: Gelina Smith-Miranda Walter over Alivia Mazurek-Stephanie Valencia, 6-2, 7-6 (5); Lydia Sinkovich-Harleigh Smith over Erin Aleovele-Elayciaboade Rios, 6-1, 6-2.

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