Methacton captures PAC-10 girls tennis title

PHOENIXVILLE >> When the girls tennis season started, Methacton coach Cathy Miller knew she had enough talented players with her experienced veterans and her younger players to be a definite contender for the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship again.

The Warriors, coming off a PAC-10 title a year ago, became repeat champions when they laid claim to the 2015 crown on Tuesday afternoon by defeating Phoenixville, 7-0, at the Leo J. Scoda Tennis Courts. It also marked Methacton’s second consecutive undefeated run through the circuit.

Methacton got victories from senior Mihaela Codreanu at first singles and freshman Dina Nouaime at second singles in straight sets to help set the tone for the victory over the Phantoms. The Warriors also picked up wins from the first doubles tandem of junior Amanda Amornwichet and senior Paige MacDougall as well as the second doubles tandem of juniors Katie Benson and Sydney Thomspson, who gained the fourth team point that sealed the victory.

Phoenixville’s Mackenzie Bowes returns a shot against Methacton’s Dina Nouaime Tuesday. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)
Phoenixville’s Mackenzie Bowes returns a shot against Methacton’s Dina Nouaime Tuesday. (Barry Taglieber – For The Mercury)

“We knew coming in with Mihaela at number one and Dina coming in at No. 2 as a ninth grader that we had a chance at the league title,” said Miller. “At third singles, Sydney (Markowitz) has been struggling, but she has playing her butt off. She keeps plugging and doesn’t quit, which is good.”

Miller has also received solid contributions from her four doubles teams.

“The doubles kids are playing their butts off,” she said. “The second doubles team was undefeated until it had its first loss against Owen J. Roberts. When we played Downingtown West, we lost our first three singles, but we won our four doubles to win the match. This year was such a team effort. Everybody stepped up, which was really nice.”

The championship was the sixth for the Warriors in their seven years under the guidance of Miller.

At first singles, Codreanu won a 6-0, 6-1 encounter against Julia Gumieniak, Phoenixville’s talented 14-year-old freshman left-hander, after both players competed in the PAC-10 Singles Championships on Saturday at the Kinetix Sports Club all day and then finished up with the final matches Monday morning.

Codreanu wound up placing second to Owen J. Roberts’ junior Meredith Lee after winning the three previous titles. Gumieniak placed fourth after falling to Spring-Ford freshman Tori Alexander in that consolation match.

Later Monday, Methacton played its regular season dual meet match against Owen J. Roberts. The Warriors won, 4-3, but Codreanu was not able to compete due to illness.

“I remember when I was a freshman,” said Codreanu. “It goes by so fast. It’s exciting, though. I am very proud of my team. They stepped it up this year. The goal we had in mind was to win the PAC-10 title, and we did They stepped it up, and I am very proud of them.”

“It’s a great experience and we are good friends,” said Gumieniak. “I am glad I got play with Mihaela. I never played against her. She is a good player. It was fun. It was a nice day.”

Methacton also gained a point at fourth doubles with the team of senior Liza George and senior Maria George, who were victorious in straight sets.

It was a synopsis of what is transpiring in the PAC-10 this year with Codreanu being the lone senior from the top eight players to reach the quarterfinals at PAC-10s. She is the veteran leaving the scene while Gumieniak is part of an array of talented freshmen who will be taking center stage from now going forward.

Gumieniak says she was landing both her forehand and backhand shots while putting up an impressive fight against Codreanu.

“I think they were working,” said Gumieniak. “It went well today. It was good competition, and I am glad I was out here playing. I am very happy. I get to go to districts, which will be a good experience being there because they are all good players.”

Phoenixville second-year head coach Ryan Curley was proud of his girls, too. The Phantoms celebrated their Senior Day for nine 12th graders, including tri-captains Mackenzie Bowes, Susanna Shier and Julia Boyle. The other seniors included Madison Denson, Ruth  Doberenz, Claire Maguire, Keri Marini, Karlie Marino and Taylor Melchoir.

Bowes played at the No. 2 singles position on the ladder while Shier and Boyle were doubles players. Shier teamed with Marini at the first doubles slot. Denson teamed with freshman Alex Reig at fourth doubles.

Phoenixville freshman Gina Brown played third singles. The Phantoms’ second doubles team consisted of juniors Jess Eldridge and Elyse Langan, and the third doubles duo was comprised of sophomore Ashleyn Duda and freshman Meghan O’Neill.

“It was good to have new faces this year and everything,” said Bowes. “It was good to see them enjoy it.”

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