HERSHEY >> Of the eight remaining players at the District 3 girls’ tennis tournament, three hail from Berks County.
Conrad Weiser’s Alex Pancu — the two-time defending county champion, as a sophomore — reached the Class AAA singles semifinals with a pair of convincing victories in Friday’s opening D-3 session at Hershey Racquet Club.
A pair of Wyomissing Spartans, seniors Vittoria D’Addesi and Alex Jadic, made it through to Saturday’s final two rounds in the AA ranks, to join Pancu. Wyo narrowly missed having a third player, MacKenzie Reese, join them.
Not a bad day on the courts.
Pancu, this year’s second seed, lost in the quarterfinals a year ago as a freshman coming off her first Berks League title. A 6-1, 6-2 conquest of Manheim Central’s Hannah Kowalski on Friday in the same spot paved over that pothole. She was a picture of confidence all afternoon at HRC; the day started brightly with a swift 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Carlisle’s Meg Ulrich in the opening round of 16.
“I thought I played pretty well. (Kowalski) was really good at getting balls back, which was frustrating because it gave me more opportunities to mess up,” Pancu said, “because I’m more of an aggressive player.
“Hopefully I can win right away (Saturday), so I can qualify for states.”
Pancu will draw Lampeter-Strasburg’s Sarah Capoferri in one AAA semifinal; Hempfield senior Amanda Hagino, the defending champion, plays Kali Aughenbaugh of Cedar Cliff in the other.
Governor Mifflin’s Olivia Richards also qualified for districts in AAA, but her push ended with an opening round 6-3, 6-0 loss to Kowalski. Exeter’s Naha Adda, the second alternate, took the court when Manheim Township’s Avery Palandjian withdrew from the field, but her day ended with a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Dallastown’s Meghan Salaga in the first round.
The formidable Wyo Spartans had their prints all over the AA bracket. D’Addesi — who lost the county final to Pancu on Oct. 3 — earned top billing and played like it with a pair of straight-set victories.
D’Addesi opened with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Lancaster Country Day’s Cassidy Gleiberman before dispatching East Pennsboro’s Madison Poladian 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
D’Addesi, a senior now making her first appearance in a district semifinal, went to work after the county finals loss to Pancu with Wyo head coach Mike Gyomber. It showed Friday at HRC.
“We worked a lot on consistency in the ground strokes,” D’Addesi said. “In my match with Alex, I realized that I wasn’t keeping the ball deep enough and I would make unforced errors. And I worked on getting prepared earlier (recognition and swing load) and being able to take the ball with more time.
“I want to do as well as I can because I’m never going to have this opportunity again.”
D’Addesi will play Delone Catholic’s Ellie Neudecker in her Saturday semifinal.
Jadic, a fellow Wyo senior and 2016 D-3 champion, who was seeded second in the AA bracket, returned to scholastic tennis this season after taking last year off to play USTAs. She rolled in her two matches, dropping just one game along the way: A 6-0, 6-1 win over Brianna Miller of Kennard-Dale was followed by a 6-0, 6-0 conquest of Lancaster Country Day’s Kendall Kubis in the quarters.
“My serves were really on point today, and that’s something I’ve been struggling with,” Jadic said. “I credit that to Hershey because I have pretty good memories here. … I feel good and I’m happy to be back.”
Jadic drew East Penn’s Ava Lewis in her semifinal.
Reese, Wyo’s third senior in the field, nearly made it through to Saturday to join her Spartan teammates but was upended by Neudecker 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. She opened her session with a 7-5, 6-3 win over league compatriot Erin Maloney of Berks Catholic in the round of 16.
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