Uwchlan >> It’s been a memorable week for the Downingtown West girls’ tennis team.
Three days after Whippet senior Jordan Bradley captured her second consecutive Ches-Mont National Division Singles Tournament title, Downingtown West celebrated its first-ever win against host Downingtown East, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s amazing … so cool, so cool – and it’s nice to [beat them] in my senior year,” said Bradley. “I know a lot of the Downingtown East girls, I’ve grown up with them, and to [win] it after working for four years at Downingtown West means a lot.”
Downingtown West swept the singles matches Tuesday, with Bradley (first singles), senior Holly Koons (second singles) and freshman Sophia Koons (third singles) all winning in straight sets.
“It’s pretty awesome to beat East my senior year,” said Holly Koons. “I actually played a really good friend of mine [Olivia Davis] today, and it’s kind of hard – you want to win so badly, but it’s tough to beat your friend, it’s not fun, and it’s always a close match with her.”
D-West won first doubles in straight sets, with the duo of juniors Divya Kalmady and Lily Shi.
“Beating East for the first time is big accomplishment for our girls, particularly our four seniors, Jordan, Holly, Kayla [Grignano] and Allie [Campbell],” said D-West head coach Justin DePietropaolo, a 2000 Downingtown High School grad. “East was undefeated in the Ches-Mont last year, they went to States, they’re a good team. We ground it out in singles today, and we were aggressive at the net in doubles. We played smart today, we’re glad to be able to realize our potential, and we hope to continue it in Districts.”
The win gave the Whippets a 14-2 record (11-1 Ches-Mont) with one match left (vs. Lower Merion Oct. 3). Downingtown East (9-3, 8-3) also is going to team Districts.
Last Saturday, two Whippets placed in the top three at the Ches-Mont National Division Singles Tournament, automatically qualifying for the PIAA District 1 singles tourney – Bradley and Holly Koons, who placed third. In 2017, Bradley defeated Koons in the Ches-Mont National Division singles final.
“Jordan’s mixed up her game more this year,” said DePietropaolo. “Last year, she hit more of a flat ball; this year, she’s hitting it with more spin.”
Bradley won her first two rounds in the Ches-Mont National singles in straight sets; then battled Downingtown East’s Tali Levine in the semifinals, winning 7-6 (6), 6-0. Bradley then defeated West Chester Henderson’s Hannah Baxter in the final, 6-2, 6-4.
“My sharpest memory of the Ches-Mont singles was the semifinal against Tali,” said Bradley. “The first set was extremely close, she wasn’t making any mistakes, and it was tough, I had to pull through. The final was a little more laid-back, but I had to fight for that one too. Hannah didn’t make any mistakes in that match, either.”
Koons was battling a blister on her right hand during the tournament, but wore a batting glove on her right hand for protection and persevered for a third-place finish, defeating Levine in the third-place match, 6-3, 6-2.
On Tuesday, Bradley, Koons and their D-West teammates was facing a D-East squad that featured nine seniors – four of them in the first two doubles teams – Nicole Dickson and Grace Yatcilla at first doubles, and Avery Byrnes and Tammy Truong at second doubles..
“Our first two doubles teams are the cornerstone of our team,” said D-East head coach Anthony DeCecco. “I’ve been flipping them between first and second doubles this season, and they’ve really done a good job for us.”
Dickson and Yatcilla won in straight sets at second doubles Tuesday, the D-East duo of Siya Sehgal and Hannah Vance won in three sets at third doubles, and the Cougars’ fourth doubles pair of Ainsley Vogt and Kaitlyn Fisher won in straight sets.
Downingtown West 4, Downingtown East 3
Singles: 1. Bradley (DW) def. Levine (DE), 6-3, 6-1; 2. H. Koons (DW) def. Davis (DE), 6-2, 6-1; 3. S. Koons (DW) def. DeCecco (DE), 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: 1. Kalmady/Shi (DW) def. Truong/Byrnes (DE), 6-1, 6-0; 2. Dickson/Yatcilla (DE) def. Grignano/Zebluim (DW), 6-2, 6-1; 3. Sehgal/Vance (DE) def. Pacheco/Madel (DW), 4-6, 6-2, 7-5; 4. Vogt/Fisher (DE) def. Campbell/Minnier (DW), 6-2, 6-4.
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