Cougars cruise to easy win against Dragons

HERSHEY — One final time, Lancaster Country Day’s David DelTerzo let out a boisterous “come on” as the winning point in his No. 2 doubles match was scored Tuesday afternoon. There was nobody left on the courts of the Hershey Racquet Club less than an hour after the PIAA Class AA first round team tennis match against Lewisburg began.

But DelTerzo’s aggressiveness and intensity never wavered. His final point gave the Cougars an easy 5-0 win over the Green Dragons. Lewisburg just couldn’t compete with a team which reached the state quarterfinals a year ago and had returning state qualifiers playing in its first two singles spots.

To call it a disappointing day for the Green Dragons, though, would be incorrect. Lewisburg coach Sam Harer never expected the Green Dragons to reach this point, not after graduating five seniors which had been so pivotal to the program’s success. In fact, only two of Lewisburg’s seven players yesterday played in last year’s state tournament match against eventual state champion Wyomissing.

Tuesday was a learning experience for a lineup which should return entirely intact next spring. It may not have been the outcome the Green Dragons envisioned, but it was by no means a failure.

“I was real surprised with how well they did this season. And for them to make it here, I was real proud of them,” Harer said. “After losing a veteran team with five seniors who played all four years, rebuilding this year I thought we’d be at the bottom.”

Lewisburg was simply out-classed at first and second singles where Lancaster Country Day’s Jonah Rebert is a two-time state qualifier and George Markley was a 2017 state qualifier. The two won their singles matches in less than 30 minutes, giving up just one combined game.

Cougars coach Chris Wilson believes Rebert and Markley give the team the ability to win at least two matches every time they step on the court. It’s why he put emphasis on a tough schedule this season. It gave his two best players the opportunity to see tennis played at a high level so they could capitalize on opportunities like Tuesday’s in a pressure situations.

Rebert had an overpowering serve and Markley’s missile-launcher of a forehand just didn’t provide many scoring opportunities for the Green Dragons.

“They are experienced and two good players and you hope they give you a chance to win each day,” Wilson said. “We hope they come out with the leadership and do what they need to do to get us a chance to win.”

Harer knew his team was fighting an uphill battle in those first two singles matches, but he expected the Green Dragons would be competitive in the other three matches, which they turned out to be. David Han and Cole Casimir made DelTerzo and Thomas Westbrook work for every point they scored. Chen Chen Gu and Josh Nichols were alive in the second set against Erik Zuckerman and Adil Amanullah before the Lancaster Country Day pair pulled away to close out the match.

Sawyer Fisher won the first game of his No. 3 singles match against LCD’s Matt Gerace, but didn’t win another. But no game was ever a walk-over and the two put on a good show for both sets even though Gerace eventually won, 6-1, 6-0.

“In doubles especially, we try to play some percentage tennis and we try to get to the net as much as we can together,” Wilson said. “It teams can lob us, they’re going to lob us. But if we can get to the next and win net points, I think the percentage plays in our favor.”

“Moving forward, it’s a great experience,” Harer said. “It’s disappointing, but it’s a young team and I still think they played really well.”

Lancaster Country Day 5, Lewisburg 0

(PIAA CLASS AA TEAM TOURNAMENT)

SINGLES

1. Jona Rebert (LCD) def. Zach Higgins, 6-0, 6-0; 2. George Markley (LCD) def. Cole Temple, 6-1, 6-0; 3. Matt Gerace (LCD) def. Sawyer Fisher, 6-1, 6-0.

DOUBLES

1. David DelTerzo/Thomas Westbrook (LCD) def. David Han/Cole Casimir, 6-1, 6-4; 2. Erik Zuckerman/Adil Amanullah (LCD) def. Chen Chen Gu/Josh Nichols, 6-3, 6-3.

Records: Lewisburg (15-5), Lancaster Country Day (16-4).

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