Host Phantoms win girls tennis tourney title

Photo by Barry Taglieber Julie McNabb, left-handed senior first singles player for Phoenixville, hits a shot during the Phoenixville Invitational Girls Tennis Tournament Friday, Aug. 24. McNabb finished as runner-up in the No. 1 singles flight based on a tiebreaker of number of games won.

PHOENIXVILLE - Host Phoenixville captured the 2012 Phoenixville Invitational Tennis Tournament last Friday, Aug. 24, narrowly edging Villa Maria Academy, 14-13, in the final team point standings at the Leo J. Scoda Tennis Courts.

Gwynedd Mercy Academy took third place with 10 points while Delco Christian, the fourth entry, had five markers.

This was the 17th annual edition of the tournament that began back in 1996. Phoenixville won its first team title since securing the initial two crowns back in 1996 and 1997.

And for the 11th year, the tournament was played to help raise money for the Cancer Patient Assistance fundraising program at Phoenixville Hospital. Phoenixville seniors Stacey Miles and Julie McNabb used the tourney program as their senior project.

Delco Christian, coached for the seventh year by former Phoenixville standout Deanna Ng, and Gwynedd Mercy were new additions to the tournament this year as Phoenixville head coach John Zittel sought to assemble an all-Class AA school format. The two schools replaced West Chester Henderson and North Penn, which were both Class AAA schools.

In Round 1, Phoenixville defeated Gwynedd Mercy, 4-3; and Villa Maria stopped Delco Christian, 6-1.

In Round 2, Phoenixville beat Delco Christian, 6-1; and Villa Maria defeated Gwynedd Mercy, 5-2.

In Round 3, Phoenixville downed Villa Maria, 5-2; and Gwynedd Mercy edged Delco Christian, 4-3.

With the team score knotted at 13 Friday afternoon, Phoenixville met Villa Maria in a fourth doubles match that settled the issue.

The Phantoms won the match, 8-2, as sophomore Maddy DiAddezio and senior Carrie Hytha teamed up to top the Hurricanes Kaylee Ouimet, a freshman, and Amanda Matkovic, a senior.

It was really close, said Phantom coach Zittel, who is assisted by Barbara Heck. I am really happy.

Phoenixville had individual position champions in junior Lexi Crovetti at second singles, the second doubles team of junior Kira Landis and junior Gabby Pattinson and the fourth doubles tandem.

McNabb finished second at first singles to Villa Maria senior Cassidy Conners on a tiebreaker with number of games won. In their head-to-head encounter, McNabb won a 9-8 thriller by virtue of a 7-3 tiebreaker.

Delco Christian senior Liz Turner placed second at second singles, and Delco Christian sophomore Ellie Schmucker came in second at third singles.

Villa Marias first doubles team of junior Haley Noll and junior Alex Cattie took top honors with Gwynedd Mercys Emily Price, a sophomore, and Samantha Materson, a sophomore, coming in runner-up.

Villa Marias second doubles unit of senior Kelsey Connelly and freshman Reagan Hatcher came in second.

At third doubles, Gwynedd Mercy senior Christian Piotrowski and sophomore Casey Flanigan beat out Phoenixville senior Becky Randolph and sophomore Liv Teter for first place.

The Hurricanes, coached by Vicki Cappelli and Mary Anne Bates, also took the runner-up spot at fourth doubles.

Gwynedd Mercy is coached by Lupe Prince and Sylvia Cooper. Ngs assistant at Delco Christian is Wendy Wiley.

McNabb talked about her battle against Conners.

That was a very hard match, said McNabb. Cassidy played very well. She made it very tough to win.

I am hoping to do a lot better than last year and not get injured. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

She also talked about the hard work involved with organizing the tournament from a players perspective.

At some points it was a little stressful, said McNabb. There was a two-week span of getting everything done. We had to contact the sponsors and other businesses. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it due to the cause.

Its exciting, said Miles. We were hoping it would go well. We had all AA schools so it was more competitive. We all played to our level.

Miles said she and McNabb had a lot of help from previous girls who used the tourney as a senior project.

There were also the efforts of family and friends of Phoenixville, said Miles. The patients and a lot of us have been affected by it.

Miles and sophomore Robin Burgess are currently teamed at the first doubles spot on the ladder.

We only have five varsity players left so we have a lot of different people, said Miles. My partner played middle JV last year and she did so well. It is a whole different playing field. With new players, you see how they have grown and bounce off each other.

NOTES

Thus far, more than $2,000 has been raised for this year with more money anticipated. Miles and McNabb presented the money to Dr. Chris Holroyde at the conclusion of the tournament during the awards ceremony. ... West Chester Henderson had previously won the tournament the past six years in a row and 12 times overall plus one tie with Bishop Shanahan back in 2001. ... Henderson and North Penn finished 1-2 in both 2010 and 2011. ... The tournament has collected more than $45,000 for the Cancer Patient Assistance Fund at Phoenixville Hospital in the past 10 years.