Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, October 22, 2018

Tennis eyes districts

Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

With the regular season winding down, the Whitehall girls tennis team is targeting a few more wins that could propel them into the district playoffs.

Head coach Alex Green said that in order to accomplish that goal they’ll need to post victories over Eastern Pennsylvania Conference rivals Northampton (6-3) and Emmaus (5-5) who’ll they’ll face in the final week of the season. In order to be one of the eight teams to make it, they’ll need to position themselves among the contenders for that final spot which includes Stroudsburg (7-3 overall, 5-3 EPC), the Kids, and the Hornets, all of whom will be looking to secure that eighth position.

Whitehall currently holds the edge among those teams in the district’s power rankings (they’re currently eighth), so any tie between those teams would lean favorably toward the Zephyrs if they win those head-to-head matches.

“The success of our season will be determined in the next three to four weeks,” said Green. “Our goal is to make the district playoffs.”

That team goal dovetails with what he would like to see from his players in their individual matches as the postseason approaches.

“We also want players to excel in the conference and district tournaments so we have talked about continually improving from the start of the season into October,” said Green.

The Zephyrs are currently 5-4, and after Tuesday’s postponement of their scheduled match against Allentown Central Catholic, they’ll have five matches remaining. That’s when the push toward the postseason begins in earnest as they’ll play all EPC opponents down the stretch. Those teams, which also includes Parkland, have records of .500 or better as of Sept. 18.

Green knows it will be a tough task, but they’ve been focusing on improving with every match as the 2018 season has progressed.

The season has produced a number of strong performances and Green said that’s especially true of his No. 3 doubles team of Heylee Chan and Nicole Asmar who’ve posted a 6-2 record to date.

“They’ve been open to coaching and have a great attitude,” said Green.

They’ve also benefitted from the potency of singles players Natalia Pedraza and Noel Yacoub who give them a strong one-two punch in singles competition. Pedraza is currently 6-4, while Yacoub is 8-4 on the year.