NEWTOWN – The Council Rock North girls tennis team just finished a fabulous season.
In Suburban One National League (SONL) play, the Lady Indians went undefeated (6-0) while posting a 12-2-1 overall record in the regular season.
In playoffs, Rock North secured a third-place entry into PIAA team competition, led by the the contagious energy, team spirit and play of No. 1 singles player, freshman Amelia Honer.
In postseason singles play, Honer finished fourth in the state, defeating junior Elessa Jacobs from Easton in the Round of 16 and Manheim Township sophomore Taylor Koplan in the PIAA quarterfinals.
After falling in the state semifinals to the 2016 runner-up from George Washington, junior Eliza Askarova, Amelia finished in fourth place in states, dropping her final match to 2016 champion Maria Santilli, a senior from Norwin.
According to head coach Linda Morrin, No. 2 and No. 3 singles players Sophia Fischer and Joanna Kwon, both seniors, often helped carry the team with victories.
Joanna pulled out a couple of come-from-behind three-set matches to help the Indians to a third-place path into PIAA competition. Kwon is a four-year varsity player who puts her heart and soul into every competition. Sophia, a three-year varsity player, juggled tennis and five AP classes throughout her successful high school tennis season.
The Rock’s doubles teams were led by seniors Gianna Vassalluzzo and Abbie Briskin along with juniors Izzy Lavine and Bhavana Ambatapudi. All four played competitively all year, picking up key victories throughout the season. Also ‘key’ in CR North’s success during regular season play were Charlotte Rignogne, Carla Eboli, Alison LaPat, Sanjana Harihar, Gianna Giorgia, Maggie Heubeck and Chelsey Siegal.
In a PIAA opener, CR North defeated District 2 champ Hazelton Area 5-0 Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club.
In singles play, Honer defeated Stephanie Mazurekin straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, Fischer topped Lily Nowak, 6-2, 6-0 and Kwon just about blanked, Sofia Losen 6-1, 6-0
In doubles competition, Gianna Vassalluzzo and Abbie Briskin topped Adrianna Bohman & Alyssa Mazurek 6-0, 6-3 and Izzy Lavine and Bhavanna Ambatapudi outpaced Ashley Garcia and Sophia Sebo, 6-0, 6-1.
The first game of the first set in first singles lasted 26 minutes with Honer making a statement. The last point of the deciding match came as Gianna Vassalluzzo cracked an overhead for the match point at first doubles to put the stamp on a CR North Victory.
While the score was 5-0, the coach says every court was competitive and a battle.
In the state quarterfinals, the Indians defeated District 3 runner-up Hershey on Friday, Oct. 27 at Hershey Racquet Club.
In singles play, Honer (6-1, 6-0) Fischer (6-2, 6-0) and Kwon (7-6 (2), 6-0) emerged victorious as did Vassalluzzo and Briskin [6-3, 7-6 (7)] in doubles.
Carla Eboli and Bhavana Ambatapudi did not finsih though the pair won their first match 7-5.
Advancing to the top four teams in the state, CR North lost 4-0 in the PIAA semifinals to state runner-up and District 1 champion Harriton Sat., Oct. 28 at Hershey Racquet Club. District 7 champion North Allegheny took states with a 4-1 triumph over the Rams later that day in Chocolate Town.
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