ARCHBALD — Wyoming Area’s last chance to continue its postseason run hinged on the racket of senior Lauren Perry.
Playing No. 3 singles against Valley View’s Holly Young, Perry continued to fight off the strong Cougar player. Perry, after losing the first set, fought back in the second. She would eventually fall in the third set, resulting in five-seed Wyoming Area getting bounced from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association District 2 Class AA tournament, 4-1. Valley View was the four-seed in the tournament.
“I was exhausted,” Perry said after playing for nearly two hours. “After you play those kind of rallies you can barely remember what the score is.”
On several occasions, Perry and Young went back and forth for more than 10 shots.
The Wyoming Area senior dropped the first set to Young, 7-5, after several long rallies throughout the set. And it looked like the second set would turn out to be the same. Then Perry turned it on.
Down 3-0 in the second set, Perry rattled off six of the next eight games and took Young to a third set.
“I was really trying not to think about that score,” Perry said. “That usually gets in my head. It didn’t work in the third set but something stuck in the second set.”
Young is a power player with a strong serve and a fierce forehand. Perry didn’t have much trouble with her competitor’s pace on the ball.
“Lauren really had a nice match out there,” Wyoming Area coach Tiffany Callaio said. “She was able to move her girl around a lot. We came up a little short but I was pleased.”
Prior to Young and Perry reaching the third set, Wyoming Area was already down 0-2.
No. 1 player Kierstin Grillo and No. 2 player Anna Thomas each fell in straight sets. Grillo lost 6-1, 6-2 to Valley View’s Cali Craig. Thomas was victim to Cougar Alyssa Santarelli, 6-1, 6-3.
This was the second time in as many years Wyoming Area reached the district tournament. Last year was the team’s first appearance. The Warriors finished the season 11-4, one of the best records in school history. Seniors Thomas and Grillo have been starting singles for Callaio for four years.
“I was extremely lucky to get them from the start,” Callaio said. “I was really proud to have them for all four years and they worked extremely hard.”
The Warriors got a consolation win against Valley View with their No. 1 doubles team. Emily Cheskiewicz and Lea Getz took down Gabriella Barber and Courtney Marckrell, 6-3, 6-4.
The singles and doubles portions of District 2 begin next week. Valley View’s team will face off against Scranton Prep on Tuesday at Kirby Park.
PA set for individual play
After failing to qualify for the PIAA District 2 team championships, several Pittston Area players are currently preparing for the 3A individual championships.
No. 1 player Sara Swartz and No. 2 player Jess Borget will be competing individually on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Kirby Park. The semifinals and finals are set for 1 p.m. on Friday also at Kirby Park.
In doubles play, Swartz and Borget will team up to form Pittston Area’s first team. McKenzie Connors and Taryn Whitman will make up Pittston Area’s other doubles team competing. The doubles tournament begins Thursday, Oct. 20.
Wyoming Area 4, Tunkhannock 1
Kierstin Grillo, Anna Thomas and Lauren Perry all scored wins in singles matches while the doubles team of Emily Cheskiewicz and Lea Getz also won to help Wyoming Area defeat Tunkhannock on Tuesday.
Emiy Chesirer and Steph Seweal picked up the only win of the night for the Tigers.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick