Loyalsock’s Katie Savidge and Sarah Hall advance to District 4 doubles semifinals in girls tennis
Loyalsock senior Katie Savidge isn’t exactly used to having another player on the same court next to her. She’s been one of the district’s best singles players each of the last four seasons and hasn’t played a doubles match in years.
But Saturday morning, Savidge was out on the court alongside Sarah Hall playing in the District 4 Class AA doubles tournament at South Williamsport. She may not have played in doubles competition in years, but there wasn’t much rust in her doubles game.
Savidge and Hall played excellent all morning, cruising to the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Hughesville’s Maria Duff and Marley Green in the quarterfinals.
“I was just a little nervous having someone else on the court with me because I was like I don’t want to be a ball hog because I’m so used to running for my own balls usually,” Savidge said. “It was really good. We had good chemistry playing. As soon as we started like the first few games I was comfortable already. So I was like OK, we got this, we’re fine.”
After beating Muncy’s Rory Oden and Rebekah Rosario in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, Savidge and Hall kept it up against Duff and Green.
The duo’s strengths complimented each other to perfection. As a singles player, Savidge is used to playing baseline and as a doubles player, Hall was more comfortable and solid up near the net. That combination proved to be key Saturday.
“I think today just Katie’s playing back and me playing front with my doubles experience and her singles experience I think worked better than I thought it would,” Hall said. “I think that worked best because her serves and me at net, I think that’s what helped us win.”
Duff and Green played well against the Loyalsock duo and routinely were firing returns back. The Spartans’ doubles team did a great job at cross-court returns near the baseline and sideline, but Hall and Savidge were seemingly always in the perfect position to return the shots.
While Duff and Green did lose 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, they scored numerous points against Savidge and Hall throughout both sets.
“We had to adjust to them. When they went back, we had to go back too,” Green said. “We were just kind of adjusting to what they were doing.”
“They had really good movement and net play,” Duff said.
The adjustments by Duff and Green helped them win the fourth game in the first set to cut the deficit to 3-1, but that would be the only one they won against Savidge and Hall.
The two Spartans knew that getting points against Savidge wouldn’t be easy given how solid she is as a singles player near the baseline, and Duff and Green did a great job playing cross-court and trying to get Hall and Savidge out of position. While they moved the Lancers around, they couldn’t win more than the one game.
“That’s where she’s most comfortable at,” Duff said of Savidge on the baseline. “She hasn’t played doubles in forever, so we knew she was going to be great at the base line.”
“They were hitting a lot of cross court back to Sarah, so I feel like they were good at net when they got the ball and they were good at keeping it cross court to one side pretty much and targeting that side,” Savidge said.
Duff and Green played together last fall in doubles competition, and Duff said they instantly clicked together again one on the court Saturday morning for their first-round matchup.
“We were right in our groove from last year,” Duff said.
Duff and Green had a tough first-round match against Jersey Shore’s Sam Machmer and Emilee Stetts and the Spartans won, 6-3, 6-4.
Savidge and Hall will face Central Columbia’s Emma Kelchner and Isabelle McHugh in the semifinals Monday at the Central PA Tennis Center at 1 p.m. Central Columbia beat Loyalsock last week in the District 4 team championship.
Kelchner and McHugh beat Danville’s Paige Holcombe and Sarah Bhanushali, 6-0, 6-0, in the first round and then beat Lewisburg’s Bekah Vance and Ayra Tufail, 6-0, 6-4, in the quarterfinals. Savidge and Hall both know that Kelchner and McHugh are solid players.
I think it’s going to be super close. One of girls we’re playing is one I play and I know she’s a strong hitter, so I think it’s going to be a comparable match so I’m excited to see how it turns out,” Savidge said.
“I think I’m expecting to do well,” Hall said. “Going 6-1, 6-0 against a good team (in Hughesville), I think for Central we have a good shot.”
On the other side of the bracket, Montousville’s Lydia Barbour and Rei Saar will look to win their second straight District 4 doubles championship as the duo advanced to the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Mifflinburg’s Rockell Keister and Kylie Vasbinder and then beat Selisngrove’s Fiona Finnerty and Avery de Fazio, 6-4, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.
They will face Bloomsburg’s Dana Lee and Brooke Keister, who beat Montgomery’s Clara Ulrich and Jenna Waring, 6-3, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.
For Barbour, she has a chance to be a three-time District 4 doubles champion. She won in 2018 with Maddy Reeves.
DISTRICT 4 DOUBLES TOURNAMENT
Muncy’s Rory Oden and Rebekah Rosario def. N.P.-Liberty’s Katherine Nealen/Diana Dawes, 10-8; Mifflinburg’s Rockell Keister/Kylie Vasbinder def. St. John Neumann’s LaKayla Coleman/Adelyn Dawes, 10-0.
Montoursville’s Lydia Barbour/Rei Saar def. Mifflinburg’s Rockell Keister/Kylie Vasbinder, 6-1, 6-1; Selinsgrove’s Fiona Finnerty/Avery de Fazio def. Towanda’s Hannah Ryck/Mackenna Maynard, 6-3, 6-1; Montgomery’s Clara Ulrich/Maddy Chappell def. Bucktail’s Christina Delatorre/Emma Poorman, 6-1, 6-4; Bloomsburg’s Dana Lee/Brooke Keister def. South Williamsport’s Alayna McGovern/Paige Kistner, 6-3, 6-3; Central Columbia’s Emma Kelchner/Isabelle McHugh def. Danville’s Paige Holcombe/Sarah Bhanushali, 6-0, 6-0; Lewisburg’s Bekah Vance/Ayra Tufail def. Mackenzie Counsil/Maddy Chappell, 6-1, 6-0; Hughesville’s Maria Duff/Marley Green def. Jersey Shore’s Sam Machmer/Emilee Stetts, 6-3, 6-4; Loyalsock’s Sarah Hall and Katie Savidge def. Muncy’s Rory Oden/Rebekah Rosario, 6-0, 6-0.
Montoursville’s Lydia Barbour/Rei Saar def. Selinsgrove’s Fiona Finnerty/Avery de Fazio, 6-4, 6-1; Bloomsburg’s Dana Lee/Brooke Keister def. Montgomery’s Clara Ulrich/Jenna Waring, 6-3, 6-0; Central Columbia’s Emma Kelchner/Isabelle McHugh def. Lewisburg’s Bekah Vance/Ayra Tufail, 6-0, 6-4; Loyalsock’s Sarah Hall/Katie Savidge def. Hughesville’s Maria Duff/Marley Green, 6-1, 6-0.
(Monday, at Central PA Tennis Center, 1 p.m.)
Montoursville’s Lydia Barbour/Rei Saar vs. Danville’s Dana Lee/Brooke Keister; Central Columbia’s Emma Kelchner/Isabelle McHugh vs. Loyalsock’s Sarah Hall/Katie Savidge.