Methacton takes care of Pope John Paul II

UPPER PROVIDENCE >> Tuesday’s girls tennis match between Methacton and Pope John Paul II at Pope John Paul II High School featured two programs at completely different stages of their development.

Methacton has won five straight Pioneer Athletic Conference titles and is in position to make a run at another, while Pope John Paul II is rebuilding with a first-year head coach.

The Warrios (8-1, 5-0) won Tuesday’s match, 7-0, and never needed to go to a third set.

In the first singles, Methacton’s Mihaela Codreanu won, 6-0, 6-0, over PJP’s Kathryn Alvarez. The senior used a mixture of power and finesse to keep her counterpart off-balance. Codreanu is a three-time PAC-10 singles champion and 2014 District 1-AAA singles champion.

“She works so hard,” Methacton coach Cathy Miller said of Codreanu. “In fact she left here — she stayed until the varsity match was over — but then she went to train for a match tonight. She trains and if she’s not playing tennis training then she is doing physical training. She is very focused on tennis. She would like to be a pro, so that takes a lot of dedication. You can see the difference in her. Her game coming into this year was the best I have seen her playing. We will see what happens to finish out the year, see if she can keep that level going. She should do well in districts.”

In the second singles, Dina Nouaime defeated Cassie Sucoloski 6-1, 6-0. Sydnee Markowitz got the better of Alise Deveney, 6-2, 6-1, in the third singles.

There were four doubles matches. Paige Macdougal and Amanda Amornwichet beat Kelly Watson and Kelsey Macaluso, 6-0, 6-2. Katie Benson and Sydney Thompson beat Hailey Miller and Dominique Marrecau, 6-1, 6-3. Alejandro Castaneda and Rachael Dorn defeated Brittany Cox and Shannon Farnsworth, 6-2, 6-1. Liza George and Maria George topped Cara Deromedi and Kelsey Pettine, 6-0, 6-0.

Cathy Miller, who has coached the Warriors to five consecutive league titles, likes what she has in this year’s team.

“With Mihaela at one, no one could beat her,” she said. “It was nice to have Dina come out as a freshman playing two, so the singles players kind of changed from last year a little bit … Because I only lost one varsity player last year, it was just a matter of rearranging. The doubles teams have all played together except for three, so they came back with a couple years experience. It’s paying off with these guys.”

The Golden Panthers (3-4, 2-4) are in their first season under head coach Marie Del Vecchio.

Del Vecchio is doing a lot of teaching this year with her young squad that is eager to get better.

“The girls are wanting to learn,” she said. “They didn’t know a lot about how to play doubles and were working on strategy and movement and I think they are excited about learning how to play. I think they are really trying to improve and not just hit balls, but hit balls with a purpose.”

The coach was very complementary of all of her players, noting that the singles players always play hard — especially Deveny, who is always in long matches — and the doubles teams are learning a lot.

“Our second doubles has only lost two league matches,” Del Vecchio said. “They have really come around together as a team. Our third and fourth doubles are learning. They have no varsity experience among them, but they are hanging in there and they are learning. Everybody is putting forth effort and that’s all first-year coach can hope for — to get good effort.”

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