Loyalsock duo wins district doubles title
Loyalsock’s Caleb Vuocolo and Mike Odorizzi upset Bryce Jones and Christian Cioffi of South Williamsport 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday to win the District 4 Class AA doubles championship at the West Branch Tennis Club.
“I’m really happy and really proud of both of them,” Loyalsock head coach Rick Zimmerman said. “This is great.”
Loyalsock, the second seed, advanced to the finals after defeating third seed Josh Fry and Tyler Mitcheltree of Hughesville, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Top-seeded South Williamsport beat Mike McCormack and Russ Nash of Lewisburg 7-6, 7-5 in the semifinals.
As the first set of the championship match began, Vuocolo and Odorizzi seemed very comfortable on the court. They gave up just three points in the set’s first four games. After dropping the fifth game, they battled back for a 6-1 first-set victory.
“They’re both basically consistent kids, so we just wanted them to keep balls in play and see what that did in the first set” Zimmerman said. “They won the first set pretty easy, so then we just stayed with it”.
Jones and Cioffi didn’t go quietly. They clawed their way back into the match and after winning the fifth game of the second set, Jones and Cioffi won three out of the next four games for a 6-3 second-set victory.
“South is a good team and Bryce is a defending champion, so we knew after the first set it was going to be a difficult second set,” Zimmerman said.
But even after dropping the second set and the first game of the third, Vuocolo and Odorizzi never lost their composure.
“We were fine getting second or first place,” Odorizzi said. “So I don’t think we had any pressure on us.”
Vuocolo shared that sentiment,
“All we wanted to do was get to the finals,” he said. “Once we won our semifinals match, we were pretty easy-going.”
Playing with that carefree attitude helped Loyalsock go on a flurry in the third set, as it won four straight games to build a 4-1 lead. Jones and Cioffi answered back again, winning three out of the next four games to pull themselves within one, 4-5.
On the match’s final play, Odorizzi displayed lightning quick reflexes at the net, throwing his racket up just in time to return a volley to an off-guard Cioffi whose return landed out of bounds, sealing a 6-4 third-set victory for Loyalsock.
“It feels good to finally win it,” Vuocolo said after making it to his third consecutive district semifinals. “I almost thought I was cursed.”