Tredyffrin >> The Conestoga girls’ tennis team (11-0) capped its sweep through the Central League with a convincing 6-1 win against a powerful Harriton squad Wednesday at the Upper Main Line YMCA, completing a most unusual 2020 season.
There will be no District 1 tournament or PIAA post-season play for the Pioneers, but the Conestoga girls were able to savor their Central League title Wednesday.
“This was our hardest match of the season,” said Conestoga junior Ananya Krishman, who finished with an 11-0 record at second singles. “We wanted to redeem ourselves because we lost our match to Harriton each of the last two years.”
In 2019, Conestoga and Harriton finished in a three-way tie with Radnor for the Central League title.
“We’re just grateful to have had a 2020 season,” said Pioneer junior Leena Kwak, who posted an 8-3 record at first singles this fall and earlier this season teamed with Krishman to win the Central League doubles title.
Krishman, who captured the Central League singles title last year, said, “It was great to team up with Leena for the Central League doubles title. Next year, the two of us want to go to States for doubles.”
Although there will be no PIAA postseason for Conestoga in 2020, the Central League title proved to be plenty pleasing for the Pioneers Wednesday.
“All of our junior varsity players are here today to cheer us on, even though they didn’t have to come here,” said Krishman.
Conestoga head coach Brittany Aimone said, “Kindness was our theme this fall – cheering for both teams, showing good sportsmanship. We treated everyone on the team, even the ones who weren’t playing, as an important member of the team.
“This was definitely a different kind of season. Normally, we have a lot of team bonding, and this year it was more of a challenge because we couldn’t hug each other, we couldn’t have our once-a-week pool parties, pasta parties and dinners like we did in a normal year. We had to figure out a way to navigate that, and this year, we had pizza parties in an open park with social distancing – our players were very patient in adapting to [COVID-19 safety protocol].
“And we’re a young team – we only have one senior, Claire Connelly, so just about everyone will be back again for us next year.”
The only match Conestoga lost Wednesday was at first singles, where Harriton senior Saige Roshkoff prevailed in straight sets. Roshkoff, the Central League singles champion this fall, has lost only two matches during her entire high school career (both as a freshman at the PIAA state championships).
At second singles, Krishman won, 6-2, 6-2, the same score that Conestoga’s Kate Emmanuel (11-0) posted at third singles.
Conestoga’s first doubles team of Bella Chen and Felicia Manful earned a 2-6, 6-1, 10-8 win to finish the season with an 11-0 record at the top doubles spot.
The Pioneers swept the rest of the doubles matches in straight sets. At No. 2 doubles, Jennifer He and Melissa Fan finished with an 11-0 record; at third doubles, Claire Connelly and Michelle Han posted a 10-1 mark; and at No. 4 doubles, Tamara Rushby and Malena Nassif finished with an 11-0 record.
Conestoga 6, Harriton 1
Singles: Saige Roshkoff (HA) def. Leena Kwak (CO), 6-1, 6-1; Ananya Krishman (CO) def. Mackenzie Sherman (HA), 6-2, 6-2; Kate Emmanuel (CO) def. Josephine Kwak (HA), 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles: Bella Chen/Felicia Manful (CO) def. Allison Liao/Rachel Wang (HA), 2-6, 6-1, 10-8; Jennifer He and Melissa Fan (CO) def. Kelly Tong/Madelline Sowal (HA), 6-1, 6-2; Claire Connelly/Michelle Han (CO) def. Abby Steinberg/Anna Montaneio (HA), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1; Tamara Rushby/Malena Nassif (CO) def. Sarah Khairi/Mary Worth (HA), 6-2, 6-0.