Loyalsock’s Niditch repeats D4 AA girls tennis title
On the tennis court, Loyalsock’s Pam Niditch has an eerily calm presence. Her stoic demeanor between the sidelines makes it impossible to know, at any given moment, whether or not Niditch is bubbling with joy or burning with anger.
But as she walked off the court at the West Branch Tennis Club on Monday afternoon, Niditch was smiling from ear to ear, which is the appropriate emotional reaction one would expect to see from a newly-dubbed District 4 Class AA?girls singles champion.
Niditch topped Danville’s third-seeded Linda Yang 6-1, 6-1, earning her second district championship in as many years, as the sophomore put on an impressive display of dominance.
“It is really exciting,” Niditch said. “Last year was really fun winning against my sister, and this year it was extremely fun to win against a great player like Linda.”
Loyalsock’s head coach Rick Zimmerman shared in the excitement.
“Anytime one of your kids wins districts it’s special,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to coach a lot of great kids who have won in districts, but it never gets old.”
Niditch dictated all fascets of Monday’s contest, which came as no surprise, since she is now 47-0 against District 4 competition, and has never even dropped a set in district tournament play.
After getting off to a slow start, dropping the first two points of the match’s first game, Niditch wasted no time settling back in. She quickly found her serve and ground stroke, which she then used to work Yang all over the court, as she hit the ball with careful percision.
“She is a great athlete and she has a great baseline game,” Zimmerman said. “If she can overpower you, you are going to have a real tough time beating her.”
As a baseliner, Zimmerman said that he knew Niditch would be comfortable playing against Yang, after the two squared off last week in the district team tournament.
“She had played Linda before, so she knew about her and I think she felt comfortable playing her game,” said Zimmerman.
However, Niditch said that playing Yang was no walk in the park.
“She was a tough competitor,” Niditch said. “She gets a lot of things back and makes it interesting. It was great to play her again.”
Yang forced many long volleys with Niditch throughout both sets of the match. She was even able to win the first game of the second set, after going on a flurry that saw her hit some great returns.
However, Niditch seemed unaffected by Yang’s newfound energy, and recaptured the momentum in the set’s second game before any real damage could be done.
“I think that I stay pretty calm, even through hard points and hard matches,” said Niditch. “I think my mental game is good.”
In reaching the district finals, Niditch also beat fourth-seeded Maria Morgan of Bucktail, and Galeton’s Andi Leach, who was seeded eighth.
“There were so many good players that I didn’t expect to dominate,” Niditch said. “I was just happy with how I played.”
Now with her second District 4 championship, Niditch will turn her focus to the PIAA Class AA championships, to be held in Hershey on Nov. 1-2.