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Souderton freshman Amanda Yang shines in debut; CB West edges Indians

Souderton's Amanda Yang readies a serve against Central Bucks West's Cynthia Hu in a match on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

FRANCONIA >> The Souderton Area High School girls tennis team faces the tough task of replacing 2019 graduate Caitlin Le as its first singles player this season.

If the season opener is any indication, Amanda Yang is up for the challenge.

The freshman won her first match, 6-2, 6-3, against Central Bucks West senior Cynthia Hu, who was a second team All-Suburban One League Continental Conference selection last year, Tuesday afternoon at Souderton Area High School.

“(Yang’s) IQ as a freshman,” Indians coach Jeff Bishop pointed to as a strength. “When she didn’t have a good shot, she would return something high or deep where she could still recover and take advantage the next play. (Hu) had a really tough serve and Amanda did a good job getting it back in play and then moving forward from there rather than getting rattled and doing too much with it.”

Souderton’s Hayley Frenchel watches her return shot clear the net in her doubles match against Central Bucks West on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

Bishop compared her footwork and ability to keep points alive to what he saw coaching Le.

“(Yang’s) IQ level right from the start is something that stood out,” he said. “She wasn’t trying to force too much. When her shot was there, she was capable and skilled enough to take advantage and put it in corners – that made it really tough. She also knew not to do too much when it wasn’t there. That’s what Caitlin did well. It was really cool to see because I know how far she can grow from that solid foundation.”

Yang and Hu traded a number of long volleys with each winning some impressive points.

Despite Yang’s victory in the first singles match, it was CB West who came away with the hard-fought win, 4-3.

Central Bucks West’s Cynthia Hu returns a serve from Souderton’s Amanda Yang on Tuesday, Sept, 8, 2020 at Souderton High School. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

West won the second and third singles and third and fourth doubles while Souderton came away with the first singles and first and second doubles.

The biggest match of the night was the fourth doubles. With the SOL Colonial Division rivals locked in a 3-3 tie, all eyes were on the decisive matchup. West seniors Sara Kadan and Julia Zeiser rallied to a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win over Souderton seniors Medha Kurukunda and Olivia Steidle.

West senior Dana Zhang won the second singles, 6-3, 6-2, while junior Jill Hohmann won the third singles, 6-2, 8-6. Trisha George and Mansi Patel gave the Bucks a 6-3, 6-4 win in third doubles.

After Yang’s first singles win, Souderton seniors Hayley Fenchel and Jordan Zimmerman won first doubles, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, and juniors Bridget Magee and Allison Magee won second doubles, 6-1, 6-3.

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