KINGSTON — All season long, Wyoming Area freshman Brianna Pizzano played the team’s No. 1 singles matches. Now, she’s the No. 1 player in the district.
Pizzano, who recently turned 15, won two matches to capture the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 2 Class 2A girls tennis championship Friday at Kirby Park. The win marks the first girls tennis district championship in the history of Wyoming Area, covering half a century.
The freshman won a tiebreak in the second set of the final match against Scranton Prep’s Gabriella Jakubek to secure the title. Pizzano found herself down 5-2 in the tiebreak, but rattled off five straight points to win the district championship. She won the title 6-4, 7-6 (5).
“I was getting nervous and trying to calm myself down,” she said. “The final was definitely a harder match than before.”
Also, a semifinal win Friday sent Pizzano the furthest in the district championship in the history of the school. In 2004, Ashley Callaio, the sister to Wyoming Area head coach Tiffany Callaio, made it to the semifinals before being eliminated.
The coach couldn’t be happier for her player.
“I’ve been playing a long time, so to finally get one out of high school at Wyoming Area is huge,” Callaio said. “I’m so happy for her because she really played well and deserved it.”
That doesn’t mean Callaio didn’t see the nerves start to develop in her young player. After coming back to win the first set, 6-4, Pizzano once again found herself down early. She was able to bounce back and take a 5-2 set lead over Jakubek.
The Prep junior, however, started to claw her way back. Four games later, Jakubek took a 6-5 lead in the set looking to force a deciding set. Pizzano, like she did most of the match, rallied to force a tiebreak. The rest is Wyoming Area history.
“I knew she was starting to get nervous,” Callaio said. “I thought we were headed to a third set and then she started to come back. That’s the fight in Brianna we all know.”
Pizzano will be the first Wyoming Area player to head to the state tournament. The championships will begin on Friday, Nov. 4 at Hershey Racquet Club in Hershey.
“This is amazing, especially since I’m a freshman,” she said. “In the beginning of the first set I was playing well, then I started to get nervous because I knew I was one win away.”
The freshman was a quick winner over Scranton Prep senior Tatiana Klacko, 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinal match Friday afternoon.
Other locals compete
Wyoming Area’s Allison Lampman won a pigtail match on Thursday to advance to the first round. The Warrior defeated West Scranton’s Rachel Johnson 6-1, 6-1. In the first round, Lampman would fall to Jakubek, 6-2, 6-0.
Pittston Area had a pair of players compete in the Class 3A championships.
Abby Connors was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Wyoming Valley West’s Madisen Jastremski. She would later fall to the top seed Amanda Southard of Williamsport.
Mackenzie Connors lost in a hard-fought matchup with Bryden Peters of Wyoming Valley West. The Pittston Area senior took Peters to three sets before losing 6-0, 1-6, 6-3.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick