Philadelphia – For Downingtown West senior Payton Bradley, who captured the PIAA District One 3A singles tournament championship Wednesday morning at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center, her most vivid memory of the tourney didn’t have anything to do with her own performance.
“My best memory of the tournament was watching my younger sister Jordan qualify for States,” said Bradley. “After my match against Conestoga’s Ashley Griffith [in the district quarterfinal], I saw Jordan beat [two-time Central League singles champion] Nina Hoog to qualify – it was a great match [4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)].”
Ironically, Payton then faced her sophomore sister Jordan in the district semifinal, and the older sister prevailed, winning 6-2, 6-3.
“It was fun playing Jordan, I was just enjoying the moment when I played her, and it wasn’t too serious – I didn’t want to go home after the match and have us hating each other,” said Payton, with a laugh.
Before facing Jordan, Payton had to get by Conestoga’s Ashley Griffith, whom she beat 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
“Ashley played a phenomenal second set, putting the ball away left and right,” said Payton. “I had to play aggressively and keep the ball away from her.”
After beating Griffith and Jordan Bradley, Payton then faced Owen J. Roberts’ Meredith Lee in the finals.
“Meredith and I are best friends,” said Payton. “Last year, we were on the same team [at the USTA Junior Team Tennis 18 and Under National Championships in Cayce, S.C.] “The key to [my victory against Lee] was probably that I stayed consistent. Meredith is good with pace – I knew I had to keep the ball in play. If I hit the ball hard and flat to her, she would be hitting the ball back to me harder and flatter.”
Bradley, who finished third at last year’s District One singles tournament, is committed to Quinnipiac University for tennis. The Downingtown West senior said she will most likely major in elementary education at Quinnipiac. But first comes the PIAA state singles tournament, scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in Hershey.
“Jordan and I are really looking forward to competing in next weekend’s state tournament in Hershey,” said Bradley, who finished fourth at last year’s PIAA state singles tourney,
Jordan Bradley finished third at District One 3A singles, defeating West Chester Henderson’s Emma Clark, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the third-place match Wednesday. The top four finishers in singles at the PIAA District One tourney will play in the PIAA State Singles Championships at Hershey Racket Club Nov. 4-5.
Downingtown West tennis coach Lee Morris said, “Both Payton [a four-time Ches-Mont champion] and Jordan are two remarkable stories. Payton won’t tell you this, but she was nominated Queen of the Court the same night as her quarterfinals in Districts. And last week in Districts, Jordan had to play three matches in a row in 3 ½ hours, and beat the No. 1 players from both Downingtown East and West Chester Henderson.
“The two sisters from a coaching point of view have been phenomenal. I encouraged them to have weapons such as bigger serves and on the rise returns on second serve returns to take the offensive. They have made me so proud and the parents should get much of the credit for their support and encouragement.”
In the PIAA District One 3A doubles championship final Wednesday morning, the Harriton duo of Sophia Sassoli and Connie Richards defeated Maddie Wood and Ashley Griffith of Conestoga, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. In the third-place matchup Wednesday, Sophia Fischer and Joanna Kwon of Council Rock North defeated Noelle Eghbali and Sammy Roberts of Downingtown East, 6-4, 6-3. The top four finishers in doubles at the PIAA District One tourney will play in the PIAA State Doubles Championships at Hershey Racket Club Nov. 4-5.