High school tennis appeared to be one of the more safer sports in this shortened COVID-19 season.
Still, there were plenty of restrictions on the players, including a limited amount of spots open for team, singles and doubles postseason spots.
That didn’t stop talented players from shining this season, none more than Methacton’s sophomore Alice Liang and freshman Hana Nouaime. The duo combined for just two singles loss and then came within a set of winning the PIAA 3A doubles title.
“I think the kids handled it way better than I did,” Methacton Head Coach Jill Walker said. “They adjusted right away. They followed the rules. Their were a lot of rules for tennis, which I wasn’t expecting. We couldn’t share balls. Each player would come out with their own can of balls.”
That didn’t dissuade Methacton from posting an 8-1 record, only losing to eventual state champ Spring-Ford.
Liang and Nouaime lead the way for The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media All-Area Team, but they were not alone. Wissahickon senior Hannah Wang finished off a stellar career by winning the SOL Liberty title and qualifying for District 1-3A singles. She lost there to Leah Walter of Unionville, 6-2, 6-2. However, Wang did help carry the Trojans from within one match of winning the District 1-3A team title.
Wang is not the only Wiss player to be recognized as she’s joined on the team by junior Lily Solomon and sophomore Saachi Menta. The Trojans duo lost in the SOL Liberty doubles final, but were instrumental in match play.
Upper Dublin is always a dangerous out for Wissahickon and the talent was there once again this season. Junior Jill Hackett went 6-2 on the season, but did come in a close second to Wang, losing 6-4, 6-2 in the Liberty finals. Doubles players Eva Yang and Eileen Xiao also had a solid season, rolling to the SOL Liberty tile and coming through with a record of 7-1. They lost in the first round of districts to Methacton’s dynamic duo of Liang and Nouaime.
Not to be outdone by the Liberty, it was another talented season in the Colonial. Souderton freshman Amanda Yang broke onto the scene with a singles title, winning 6-1, 6-1 over Central Bucks East’s Kaveena Ponamgi in the final. Yang did qualify for districts, but lost there to Spring-Ford’s Mia Matriccino.
CB West’s Cynthia Hu ran into Wang in the Colonial semis, but posted a solid season herself.
There was also some solid doubles play in the Colonial as North Penn’s Brynn Janke and Ashley Bolin posted an undefeated season in the No. 1 position.
The following is a complete look at The All-Area Team.
The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Girls Tennis All-Area Team
Alice Liang, Methacton
Hana Nouaime, Methacton
Hannah Wang, Wissahickon
Amanda Yang, Souderton
Jill Hackett, Upper Dublin
Cynthia Hu, CB West
Brynn Janke/Ashley Bohlin, North Penn
Lily Solomon/Saachi Menta, Wissahickon
Eva Yang/Eileen Xiao, Upper Dublin
Eva Hunter, Upper Dublin
Lauren Alling, North Penn
Adlena Washington-Brown, North Penn
Kendall Skalicky, Germantown Academy
Elizwala Smaliak, PW
Nicole Zappin, Wissahickon
Sarah Kidekel, Lower Moreland
Victoria Schrader/Nilah Swan, Abington
Ciara Peyton/Ariela Cohen, Upper Dublin
Elizabeth Murray/Shanele Tamulevicius, Mount St. Joe’s
Angela Lian/Dru O’Brien, Methacton
Katie Chang/Amanda Wang, Methacton
Lexi Moore/Anya Yang, Lower Moreland