South Hunterdon earns at least a share of conference crown
Repeats can be difficult, but New Hope-Solebury has been up to the challenge so far.
The Lions are back in the District One Class AA tournament this week and are the top seed in their quest to return to states as a team for the second consecutive year. If that happens, they would all join top singles player and sophomore Genevieve Hobson as state participants.
Last season, Hobson won both the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) and District One singles titles before finishing fourth in the state at the AA level. Hobson wrapped up a shot to do that again on Saturday, as she swept three matches at districts to claim her second title in a row.
Her victims along the way included Gwynedd-Mercy’s Natalie Danze, Delco Christian’s Ellie Schmucker and Nazareth’s Alex Vo in the final. Other than a 7-5 second-set triumph over Danze, none of her opponents won more than two games in a set.
“Gen Hobson continues to make history for New Hope girls’ tennis,” head coach Diane Roeser said. “No boy or girl has ever accomplished this (back-to-back BAL and district championships) for New Hope. She is anxious to return to Hershey in November to compete for the AA state title.
“Gen is playing solid, smart tennis,” she added. “We need to work on her return of serve, though.”
Hobson has lost only one match all year, and that was to Central Bucks West’s Amanda Cyr. Though just a freshman, Cyr cruised through the Suburban One League (SOL) Continental Conference slate this year, going undefeated before winning the singles championship.
That put Cyr in the District One Class AAA tournament, where her banner year continued with a 6-0, 6-0 trouncing of Council Rock South’s Kelsey Sattler in the first round. She then beat Conestoga’s Lauren Banner in straight sets to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals, but that was where the dream ended. Wissahickon’s Maureen Devlin had to earn it, including a 7-6 second-set victory that was won by a 7-1 tiebreaker score, but ultimately, she eliminated Cyr in straight sets.
“Amanda was fearless in approaching the net to try to end the points sooner,” head coach Carol White said about the match. “This helped narrow the gap, and I think her ability to strategize in tight situations will serve her well in seasons to come.”
“I’m glad I had a solid season,” Cyr said. “I didn’t know if I could win the whole thing, but I hoped I could make the top four so I could go to states.”
She will get two more chances at that goal starting this week. Cyr and the Bucks also qualified for team districts this week, thanks to a 12-4 season (5-2 in the SOL Continental), and she will pair with senior Kristi Kong for the SOL doubles championships.
“I think we have a pretty good chance,” said Cyr, who has played in tournaments around the country during her 10-year career.
“Amanda had a great run with a 20-1 record her first season, and yesterday was the first time she dropped a set,” White said. “She’s been a pleasure, as she works hard at her game year round, has serious groundstrokes but loves to come in to attack at net, and, most importantly, has a great attitude.”
Pennridge’s Kate Moshnikov battled hard, but fell in a pair of close sets, 6-4, 7-5, to Abington’s Molly Bair in the opening round of the Class AAA districts. She held a 5-4 advantage in the second set before being broken on serve twice.
“The girls had some great points and made the match interesting,” Rams head coach Darcy Rabenda said.
CB South’s Abby Gamarnik and Emily Rabinovich qualified for districts, as well, but both lost in straight sets. The Titans, though, will join CB West in team districts this week.
Palisades’ Lizzy Sessinger fell to top-seeded Tyra Ott in round one of the District 11 Class AA singles tournament. As a team, the Pirates lost in the semifinals of the Colonial League tournament to Moravian and the first round of the District 11 Class AA tournament to Central Catholic.
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