Eagles fall to Streaks in league semifinals

By on April 22, 2015
 Cocalico’s Simeon Thorpe serves up a ball during a recent match. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Cocalico’s Simeon Thorpe serves up a ball during a recent match. (Photo by Stan Hall)

The final score told only part of the story Monday as Section Two runner-up Cocalico squared off against unbeaten Section One champ and perennial power Manheim Township in the L-L League team semifinals.

The host Streaks pulled out a 3-0 victory over the Eagles to advance to Tuesday’s finals vs. Hempfield, which was a 3-0 winner over Section Two champ Elco in the other semifinal Monday.

But Township had to earn it Monday against a highly-competitive Cocalico squad.

Unlike the regular season which features four singles and three doubles matches per contest, Monday’s semifinal consisted of three singles and two doubles matches. Once one of the teams got to three wins, the rest of the match was abandoned.

Township closed it out with a win at number one doubles and numbers two and three singles. The Streaks’ top doubles teams of Dan Ansel and Alex Shenosky knocked off the Cocalico tandem of Colby Martin and Simeon Thorpe 6-1, 6-3. At number two singles, Clark Griffin defeated the Eagles’ Austin Noll 6-0, 7-5 while at three, Ben Wirth downed Cocalico’s Greg Lewis 6-0, 6-1.

However, in the two matches that were abandoned, Cocalico’s number one singles player Connor Martin split the first two sets of his match with Township’s Jack Fowler while Cocalico won the first set of the number two doubles match, making it much more competitive than the final score appeared.

“We lost the team match to Township, but our guys played very well in singles and doubles,” Cocalico Coach Todd Snyder said. “If (Austin Noll) finds a way to win that (second) set we are in the match.”

“Reading the score it would appear that we got beat easily, but we were competitive, and our players gave them a match,” he continued. “In the past, Township’s depth destroyed us. (Monday), our 6th and 7th players won the first set and had a chance to take the match.”

Cocalico finished in a tie with Elco for top honors in Section Two this year. However, based on Elco’s 5-2 head-to-head victory over the Eagles back on March 24, the Raiders claimed the official title as section champs while Cocalico earned the runner-up title.

Connor Martin went 11-3 at number one singles while Noll was 12-3 at number two, Lewis was 7-5 at three, Thorpe was 7-2 at four and Colby Martin was 5-0 at five.

In doubles, Martin and Noll teamed for an 8-2 record at one while Lewis, Graham Shuman and Ben Hinkley (in different combinations) were 10-5 at two. Thorpe and Colby Martin combined for a 10-1 record at number three.

“Top to bottom we played well and our team and individual records are a reflection of how well we played on a daily basis,” Snyder said. “A key to our success is the depth of quality players on our team. We lost two matches at number four singles, and two matches at number three doubles.”

Cocalico (12-3 overall) still hopes to qualify for Districts, which get underway April 30.

Entering Tuesday’s regular season finale vs. Elizabethtown, the Eagles were seeded 13th in the AAA power ratings, which close Wednesday night. The top 12 teams qualify for the District Tournament, which will be held in its entirety at the Hershey Racquet Club.

Ephrata, incidentally, is ranked among the top 12 teams in AAA after a pair of 7-0 wins this past week over McCaskey and Conestoga Valley.

The Mounts (10-3), who were scheduled to face Lampeter-Strasburg Tuesday, took out McCaskey last Wednesday behind singles wins from Lukas Olson (6-3, 6-0), Bob Lowrie (4-6, 6-3 [10-4]), Christian Miles (6-0, 6-3) and Alex Mantsevich (6-1, 6-2).

In doubles action, Olson and Miles teamed for an 8-5 win at number one; Lowrie combined with Mario Murcia for an 8-5 victory at two; and Mantsevich and Travis Groff earned an 8-0 win at three.

In Thursday’s sweep at CV, Olson (6-2, 6-2), Lowrie (7-5, 6-1), Miles (6-3, 6-4) and Mantsevich (6-3, 6-3) all were straight set winners in singles play.

In addition to its L-L semifinals loss to Township Monday, Cocalico had three non-league matches this past week, defeating Governor Mifflin (4-3) and Penn Manor (5-0) while losing a tight 3-2 contest to Cedar Crest.

While both Cocalico and Ephrata have aspirations of qualifying for the District Team Tournament, the L-L Individuals Tournament gets underway Thursday with first round flight action. Flight One and doubles will be held at Conestoga Valley. Manheim Central will host Flight Two, Warwick is the site for Flight Three and Flight Four will be at McCaskey.

First round match-ups involving local players include:

Flight One AAA singles- Olson, Ephrata vs. Nick Tull of Cedar Crest; Connor Martin, Cocalico vs. Wirth, Manheim Township.

Flight Two singles- Lowrie, Ephrata vs. Kent Travis, Elizabethtown; Noll, Cocalico (2 seed), bye.

Flight Three singles- Miles, Ephrata (2 seed) vs. Tommy Moran, Lancaster Catholic; Lewis, Cocalico vs. William Klatchko, Annville-Cleona.

Flight Four singles- Mantsevich, Ephrata (2 seed) vs. Nathan Stiver, Donegal; Thorpe, Cocalico vs. Ethan Emmert, Lampeter-Strasburg.

Flight One AAA doubles- Connor Martin/Noll, Cocalico vs. B. Martin/K. Peters, Manheim Central; Olson/Miles, Ephrata vs. M. Haag/C. Bennett, Penn Manor.

Flight Two doubles- Lowrie/Mario Murcia, Ephrata (2 seed) vs. W. Klatchko/B. O’Conner, Annville-Cleona; Lewis/Ben Hinkley, Cocalico vs. S. Grogan/D. Speraw, Annville-Cleona.

Flight Three doubles- Mantsevich/Travis Groff, Ephrata (2 seed) vs. N. Stiver/J. Nickchen, Donegal; Colby Martin/Thorpe, Cocalico vs. J. Zukus/M. Able, Lancaster Catholic.

Action will continue Saturday with the finals set for Monday at CV.

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