Loyalsock’s Kaitlyn Savidge focuses on match in front of her

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Loyalsock’s Kaitlyn Savidge competes during a match against Hughesville on Monday. Savidge is in her senior year and is a three-time District 4 Class AA finalist and three-time state qualifier.

It’s cliche, to say the least, but Kaitlyn Savidge’s focus is never on more than the match in front of her. That’s how the Loyalsock senior has treated her entire tennis career and it’s worked quite well so far.

So even though Savidge is trying to take a new approach to her game for her final high school season, she’s hasn’t lost that important focus. She’s not worried about a potential matchup with returning state runner-up Olivia Dorner of South Williamsport. She’s not worried about how to navigate a district tournament field.

Instead, she’s focused on her next match. It’s how she’s maintained such a high level of play as a former state fourth-place finisher.

“That’s the one thing that makes her different than other players I’d had in the past, she never looks ahead” Loyalsock coach Kirk Bower said. “She never looks past her next match. She never takes a match for granted. She’s still a little nervous before each match and I think that’s a great thing. She’s coming in with the mindset that she has to play well to win, and it’s that mindset no matter what.”

Savidge is a three-time District 4 Class AA finalist. She’s a three-time state qualifier. She was the first area player to reach the semifinals of the girls state tournament when she finished fourth in 2017 (South Williamsport’s Maria Cioffi reached the semifinals of the boys tournament in 2012).

Savidge has been one of the most dominant tennis players District 4 has seen in recent memory. But Bower believes there’s room for her to still grow as a player. They’ve talked about making physical adjustments to her game to speed up the process of picking up wins. Because with so many matches in such a short amount of time, Bower wants her to get off the court as quickly as possible to conserve her energy for the stretch run of the season.

“Tennis is one of those seasons where matches are really packed together until you get to districts,” Bower said. “So when you’re playing back to back, or like this week and next week where there’s three matches in a week, conserving your energy and finishing your points quickly is a big key.”

Finishing points quickly is where the big change is coming this season for Savidge. One of her biggest strengths as a player is how cleanly she hits the ball and, in turn, can handle rallies which last longer than a Ken Burns documentary.

But because she hits the ball so cleanly, Bower wants Savidge looking for openings to hit winners. He doesn’t want her sitting back waiting for opponents to make a mistake. In an opening-week match earlier this week against Montoursville’s Lydia Barbour, who was the fourth seed at last year’s district tournament, Savidge worked on that gameplan. After a tight first set, Savidge cruised in the second, winning the match, 7-5, 6-1.

“Lydia Barbour has very good game, and it was a good test for Katie this early in the season,” Bower said. “She played a good first set and then really picked up her game in that second set. There’s a lot of tennis to play, but that put her in a good spot and I think it improved her confidence.”

Savidge will once again be looking to get back to the district final. She’s staring down a likely rematch with Dorner for the third consecutive season in the final should she get there. With COVID-19 considerations, there’s a chance the PIAA will allow only district champions into the state tournament this year in all sports.

Despite finishing as the district runner-up the last three years, it still provided a path to the state tournament for Savidge. She and Bower know trying to knock off Dorner is a tough task, but they’re hoping the adjustments they’re making will help.

“I think the biggest thing with Katie is having that confidence,” Bower said. “She needs to believe in herself and come up with a plan on how to play. But that’s a month away. She’s still focused on her next match.”


Coach: Pete Wert, 15th season.

Assistants: Tom Zettle.

Last year: 15-3, Mountain League champions.

Returning district qualifiers: Carolina Carpenetti (singles, doubles); Kati Kwiatek (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Olivia Anastos, Carolina Carpenetti, Caitlyn Dale, Bridget Miller, Ella Talbot. Juniors: Blair Bodle, Kati Kwiatek. Sophomores: Zeta Blesh, Ellie Gundy, Claire Long, Damea Owens, Grace Rizzo, Jaelyn Tripp, Bree Weaver. Freshmen: Catie Lugg, Ana Persun, Jocelyn Sproat, Teresa Temple.


Coach: Craig Weaver Sr., fifth season. Career record: 54-23.

Assistants: Courtney Wilk, Laurie Randall.

Last year: 13-7.

Returning district qualifiers: Maria Duff (doubles); Madison Entz (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Maria Duff, Madison Entz, Marley Green, Taylor Hauck, Kyle Liebersohn, Hannah Wertz. Juniors: Gina Budman, Celeste Orner, Chloe Springman, Kylie Stephany, Emma Ruch, Ava Spring. Sophomores: Kylie Kilgore, Carley Larsen, Karina Schriner. Freshmen: Morgan Rupert, Daylan Randall, Breanna Bobak, Destini Flowers.


Coach: Samuel Harer, third season. Career record: 5-31.

Assistants: Andrew McNeil.

Last year: 3-15.

Returning district qualifiers: Bekah Vance (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None

Roster: Seniors: Mia Kazakavage, Autumn Sena, Bekah Vance, Sofia Waughen, Elli Yarnell. Juniors: Tara Clark, Katelyn Fessler, Grace Hilkert, Julia Kaszuba, Bridget Kinnaman, Kassie McTammany, Jennaye Pointer, Ayra Tufail. Sophomores: Kathleen Beers, Grace Bruckhart, Sonja Johnson, Mattison Lytle, Jayden Thomas. Freshmen: Vivan Vance.


Coach: Kirk Bower, second season.

Last year: 11-7.

Returning district qualifiers: Kaitlyn Savidge (singles, second place); Sarah Hall (doubles); Abbie Machmer (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: Kaitlyn Savidge (singles).

Roster: Seniors: Sarah Hall, Kaitlyn Savidge. Juniors: Mia Blas, Abbie Machmer. Sophomores: Gabrielle Campana, Megan Lowe, Rebecca Pietraski. Freshmen: Noah Bowes, Isabella Dadzie, Anna Hall, Madelyn Hall, Chloe Kennedy, Yuvika Porob, Madalyn Weigle.


Coach: Jenny Counsil, third season. Career record: 15-13.

Assistants: Rich Counsil, Jose Oyola (manager).

Last year: 8-6.

Returning district qualifiers: Brooklyn Wade (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Alanna Stamm, Mackenzie Counsil, Maddy Chappell. Juniors: Jordyn Aungst, Leslie Krebs. Sophomores: Brooklyn Wade, Addy Ayala, Maddy Nicholas. Freshmen: Lydia Crawford, Aubree Carl.


Coach: Shawn Gardner, second season.

Assistants: Ryan Baxter.

Returning district qualifiers: Lydia Barbour (singles, doubles champion); Rei Saar (doubles champion); Maddie Adams (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: Lydia Barbour (doubles); Rei Sarr (doubles).

Roster: Lydia Barbour, Rei Saar, Libby McNamara, Randi McKenna, Lydia Farber, Maddie Adams, Kara Mann, Morgan Fegley, Erin Deljanovan, Paige Kemmerer, Katelyn Good, Riley Nelson.


Coach: Bo Meyer, fifth season.

Assistants: Lisa Meyer; Alyssa Krepenich (manager); Brea Myers (manager); Halley Green (manager).

Last year: 1-12.

Returning district qualifiers: Rory Oden (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Rory Oden, Breanna King, Valentina Dewitt. Juniors: Chloe Skaluba. Sophomores: Rebeka Rosario, Lydia Bitler, Autumn Schmitt, Abrille Grambling. Freshmen: None.


Coach: Larry Gaffney, eighth season.

Assistants: Taquoia Lee, Bessica Bower.

Returning district qualifiers: Juliana Kriner (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Juliana Kriner, Madison Minnier, Adelyn Dawes, Ophira Weiser, India Moss, Lakayla Coleman, Emma Gallew.


Coach: Theresa Summerson.

Last year: 17-1, District 4 champions.

Returning district qualifiers: Olivia Dorner (singles, champion); Alayna McGovern (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: Olivia Dorner (singles, runner-up).

Roster: Seniors: Paige Kistner, Ella Livorno, Alayna McGovern, Ellie Metzger. Juniors: Olivia Dorner, Greta Kimble. Sophomores: Gia Hart, Eve Jackson. Freshmen: Olivia Jackson, Olivia Rogers, Sadie Stahl.


Coach: Andy Borzok, second season.

Last year: 9-4, NTL co-champions.

Returning district qualifiers: None.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Alexis Banik, Brittany Route. Juniors: Michaela Sedor. Sophomores: Gillian Hernandez Barrera, Ana Perry, Kailey Zuchowski. Freshmen: Hannah Nuss.


Coach: John Dorner, 25th season.

Assistants: Karen Hooker, Ruth Taddeo-Hunter.

Last year: 15-2, HAC-I champions.

Returning district qualifiers: Mary Hillman (doubles).

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Roster: Seniors: Mary Hillman. Juniors: Emma Campbell, Mairead Ferry, Teagan Marty. Sophomores: Breanna Chicas, Alexia Fidler, La’Masia Jeter-Carter, Allyson McCann, Shamarya Robinson. Freshmen: Isabella Gehron, Natalie Huggins, Emlyn Kinley, Abbigail Robertson, Lily Wascher, Danyse Washington, Fatima Zeshan.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today