Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, February 28, 2020
Press photo by Nancy ScholzNatalie Pedraza and her doubles partner Noel Yacoub saw their season end this week. Press photo by Nancy ScholzNatalie Pedraza and her doubles partner Noel Yacoub saw their season end this week.
Press photo by Steve AndresHeylee Chan and Emily Tran arrive at Lehigh University for the opening round of the D-11 AAA doubles tourney. Press photo by Steve AndresHeylee Chan and Emily Tran arrive at Lehigh University for the opening round of the D-11 AAA doubles tourney.

Whitehall’s tennis team ends season

Friday, October 18, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Whitehall girls tennis season ended at Lehigh University on Monday after both doubles teams weren’t able to advance past the first round in the district tournament.

The Zephyrs qualified two teams this season for the District XI 3A Girls Doubles Championship as Natalia Pedraza and Noel Yacoub comprised one team, while Heylee Chan and Emily Tran were the other entrants.

Pedraza and Yacoub drew Southern Lehigh’s Michelle Li and Kayla Lebby.

Head coach Alex Green said that the Spartans were champs of the Colonial League this season, and followed that with a finals appearance in the District XI 3A Team Championship against Parkland. He knew it was going to be challenge for his team to move forward.

Green said that they fell behind early, losing the first set 6-2. That continued in the second set as they fell behind 3-0, but rallied to take a 5-4 lead. That stretch saw them win five of six games.

But the Spartan combo regrouped and battled back to win in a tiebreaker, 7-5.

“We were right there, but we just couldn’t put away that second set,” said Green.

Green said that Pedraza and Yacoub had great seasons, and in Yacoub’s case, a great career.

He said that it was a tough draw to begin the tourney, but that they made the best of it.

During the season, the Zephyrs found themselves having to claw back in a number of matches, and that mirrored what happened to Pedraza and Yacoub in the opening round.

“I wish we could start faster,” Green said. “We keep fighting and make a lot of comebacks, and that’s what happened today.”

Chan and Tran also drew a tough opening round match as they faced another Southern Lehigh pairing in Erica Wang and Evelyn Wang, the tourney’s No. 3 seed.

Green knew they would be underdogs heading into the match. He said that the pair, who’ve been a strong combo all season at No. 2 doubles, were happy to compete in the tourney. He said that the message was to go out and play loose and just enjoy the experience. They wound up losing 6-0, 6-0 as the Wangs advanced to the quarterfinal round.

The D-11 doubles championship marked the last time Yacoub and Chan will put on the maroon and gold for Whitehall. Green said that whatever the future holds for those two, he hopes they’ll keep playing.

“They play with integrity and they play the right way,” Green said. “They’ve been such great ambassadors for the team and the school.”