Hello, everyone.

Well, today is the last day of sweltering heat it appears here in NEPA. The weather, hard to believe, certainly had an impact on the high school sports scene especially the last few days. It was brutally hot on Monday for league play and again on Tuesday where teams were trying to catch up on matches that were postponed. The playoffs begin officially on Oct. 5. I will have more information on that later in the post. The athletes persevered and we have two play dates left in the 2017 regular season. Then the tennis action will heat up as much as the weather did.

We start today with a look back to the much anticipated showdown between No. 1 Scranton Prep and No. 2 Abington Heights.

It is always an exciting setting when the two programs meet. It’s hard, unless you have experienced it in person, to visualize how important this match is to those who are playing or who have played in it or have players involved in it. This is a rivalry that spans decades. And let’s face it, these are tennis players who have probably been taking lessons for most of their lives, so they all know and have practiced and competed against each other at some point. Also understand, that while they are friends who share a love and devotion to the sport, they also have a passionate desire to win. Tennis is a true individual test of and challenge of skill and mental strength. In the singles matches, it is a one-on-one battle. When the level of skill draws closer, so too does the tension surrounding the match. For the most part, with all due respect to the Lackawanna League, this match between Scranton Prep and Abington Heights is circled each season as the one that will decide the league champion.

 

The match

 

With the sun beating down on the players and the heat exhausting them, the singles matches were the focus of much of the attention. Probably six of the Top 10 players in the entire league were in action, trading passing shots, overhand smashes, backhands, forehands and sharp serves. Each player had a piercing focus.

As those showcases stole the spotlight, Scranton Prep’s No. 2 doubles team, which features future singles stars, Julia Horchos and Madison Tratthen, the Classics seized a 1-0 lead overall with a win over Savannah BlaumJulia Poulson-Houser, 6-0, 6-1. Younger teammates from both teams were lining the fences and offering very loud words of encouragement and support throughout the match. They understood how important each and every match was to the ultimate outcome of the match.

“The cheering is amazing. We love the support we receive from our teammates when we are out there. The key for us was communication. We love playing together and kept a positive state of mind in the whole match.”

— Madison Tratthen

Scranton Prep

 

 

   

Gabi Jakubek

Scranton Prep

Lauren Carroll

Abington Heights

 

The next match of the court was at No. 1 singles. This was the Main Event. No. 1 Gabi Jakubek of Scranton Prep facing No. 2 Lauren Carroll of Abington Heights. These are two returning All-Region standouts who have excelled through their entire careers. They had clashed in each of the previous two seasons in memorable matches. It just doesn’t get any better than this in the sport.

Jakubek kept using her strength to make powerful returns and took an early advantage, winning the first set, 6-1. Carroll, the ultimate competitor fought back in the second set. Her quick reactions and patience had the two stars trading shots and points. On several occasions, Carroll built leads only to have Jakubek find more energy to rally back for a 6-4 win and an overall victory.

That gave Scranton Prep a 2-0 lead overall.

That’s when freshman Carly Habeeb turned up her intensity. She began showing off her unlimited potential with a series of quick shots down the line and she defeated Clare Della Valle, 6-2, 6-0, to secure the third straight win in the series.

Eventually, the match ended with Scranton Prep winning, 4-1. The Classics all-freshman doubles team of Megan McDonald-Camilla Rinaldi fell behind after losing the first set, 7-6 (3), but came back with a 6-0 win in the second and a long 13-11 win in the third against .

Abington Heights earned its point when Lauren Koczwara defeated Isabel Hou at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-4. Koczwara pushed her record to 11-0 on the season.

It was a good match that will likely decide the league champion. Scranton Prep still has two matches remaining and needs one win to lock down at the very least a playoff match, and two wins to win its third straight title.

Then, both programs will set their sights on the District 2 Team Championships.

 

Scranton Prep’s Gabi Jakubek.

 

Abington Heights’ Lauren Carroll.

Scenes from 

Scranton Prep 

vs.

Abington Heights

Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scranton Prep’s Carly Habeeb.

Abington Heights’ Lauren Koczwara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dynasty

 

OK, so Scranton Prep won the showdown and improved to 12-0 on the season. The Classics are a dynasty. There is no question about that. Look at the numbers:

 

 

Record

Notes

2017

12 – 0

2016

13 – 1

Lackawanna League Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

2015

15 – 0

Lackawanna League Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

2014

14 – 1

D2 Class 2A Champions

2013

15 – 0

Lackawanna League Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

2012

14-1

D2 Class 2A Champions

2011

12 – 0

Lackawanna League 2A Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

2010

12 – 0

Lackawanna League 2A Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

2009

9 – 0

Lackawanna League 2A Champions

D2 Class 2A Champions

 

 


 

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

 

OK, so that match is completed. It obviously impacts the Lackawanna League standings. It also will influence the District 2 team standings.

 

2017 Lackawanna League Standings

Through Sept. 26

 

 

 

The District 2 playoffs are scheduled to begin Oct. 5.

  • Oct. 5: District 2 Team Championships – first-round matches
  • Oct. 6: District 2 Team Championships – quarterfinal-round matches
  • Oct. 10: District 2 Team Championships – semifinals and finals, at Kirby Park

 

2017 District 2 Standings

Through Sept. 26

Courtesy piaad2.org

 

 

2017 LACKAWANNA LEAGUE SINGLES RECORDS

Through Sept. 26

Note: Results from Holy Cross-Mid Valley; Wallenpaupack-West Scranton; Montrose-West Scranton not reported.

 

Abington Heights (11-1)

Delaware Valley (4-8)

North Pocono (10-2)

Lauren Carroll

10–1

Taylor Moglia

4–3

Sarah Tofilska

10—2

Clare Della Valle

9–2

Katie Cooney

4–5

Sarah Sposito

11—1

Lauren Koczwara

11–0

Jules Anderson

3–8

Haley Zemek

7–5

Savannah Blaum

1–0

Gia Cicilio

2–3

Brooke Dennison

1–0

Hannah Larson

0–2

Holly Ross

1–0

Lauren

Matarazzo

0–2

Scranton

(8-4)

Wallenpaupack

(7-5)

Mary Huffman

7–5

Phoebe Cykosky

3–0

Phoebe Cykosky

9–1

Megan Musso

8–4

CLASS

3A

Heidi Washburn

6–3

Theresa Huffman

7–4

Hannah Vennie

1–1

Hannah Vennie

1–1

Nadi Mahdavi

0–1

Tori Weber

1–0

Tori Weber

2–5

Lily Hannon

0–1

Carrie Loomis

0–2

Becca Cykoski

0–1

 

 

Valley View’s Kiana DeJesus.
Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

Dunmore

(0-13)

Holy Cross

(9-3)

Honesdale

(3-9)

Mid Valley

(4-8)

Anna Chiaro

2–11

Lauren Palmiter

7–4

Megan Rembish

3–9

Lyndsey Medric

4–7

Alyssa Bielinski

0–1

Theresa Dutter

6–5

Madison Palmer

2–9

Courtney Davies

1–7

Lauren Brown

0–8

Aurora Monacelli

0–1

Leigha Welsh

2–10

Karah Laboranti

2–9

Maren Oprisko

1–7

Caroline Cadden

9–1

Lydia Grossman

1–0

Morgan Haefele

1–2

Katie McKitish

0–4

Mia Mandarano

2–3

Montrose

(3-8)

Riverside

(4-8)

Scranton Prep (12-0)

Valley View (7-4)

McKenzie Reeves

3–6

Samantha Labrosky

7–5

Gabi Jakubek

11–0

Kiana DeJesus

7–4

Searra Muller

2–8

Alyssa Chesek

1–4

Carly Habeeb

12–0

Sidney Reinfurt

0–1

Angie Ford

3–7

Trinity Gable

8–4

Isabel Hou

10–2

Gianna Snell

1–9

Katelyn Henry

0–1

Mia Capalongo

0–1

Stephanie

Carolan

0-1

Vanessa Antenori

7–4

Abby Fairclough

4–2

West Scranton

(1-11)

Western Wayne (6-5)

C.J. Grasso

1–9

CLASS

2A

Allison Mattern

3–8

Rebecca Johnson

4–5

Samantha Pritzlaff

7–4

Briana Moraca

1–9

Maddy Godfrey

0–2

Jenny Vongmany

0-1

Sam Atcavage

9–0

 

 


 

 

Scranton’s Mary Huffman.
Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

RANKINGS

 

 

JOBY’S TOP 5 TEAMS

 

 

Not any movement among the Top 5 teams. North Pocono holds steady at No. 3 after the close match with Abington Heights and its loss to Scranton Prep.

 

 

1. SCRANTON PREP CLASSICS (12-0)

Last Rank: 1

Beat Dunmore, 4-1; Beat Abington Heights, 4-1. Next: Today at Honesdale.

 

 

 

2. ABINGTON HEIGHTS LADY COMETS (11-1)

Last Rank: 2

Beat Honesdale, 5-0; Lost to Scranton Prep, 4-1. Next: Today vs. Western Wayne.

 

 

 

3. NORTH POCONO LADY TROJANS (10-2)

Last Rank: 3

Beat Holy Cross, 3-2; Beat Delaware Valley, 4-1. Next: Today vs. West Scranton.

 

 

 

4. HOLY CROSS LADY CRUSADERS (9-3)

Last Rank: 4

Lost to North Pocono, 3-2; Beat Mid Valley, 5-0; Beat Western Wayne, 3-2. Next: Today at Valley View.

 

 

 

 

5. SCRANTON LADY KNIGHTS (8-4)

Last Rank: 5

Beat West Scranton, 5-0; Beat Wallenpaupack, 4-1. Next: Today at Riverside.

 

 

 

Teams to watch: Wallenpaupack (7-5); Valley View (7-4); Western Wayne (6-5).

 

 


 

North Pocono’s
Sarah Tofilska

 

 

JOBY’S TOP 5 PLAYERS

 

 

Scranton Prep’s Gabi Jakubek solidified her spot at No. 1 with a straight-sets win over Lauren Carroll. Still, Carroll remains the No. 2 player. There is no movement among the Top 5 players. There is one more head-to-head battle to be decided. Sarah Tofilska will play Phoebe Cykosky in the regular-season finale on Thursday.

 

 

Jakubek

1. GABI JAKUBEK, SCRANTON PREP (11-0)

Last Rank: 1.

Won her head-to-head battle with Lauren Carroll, 6-1, 6-4.

 

 

 

 

Carroll

2. LAUREN CARROLL, ABINGTON HEIGHTS (10-1)

Last Rank: 2.

Lost to Jakubek, but is still unbeaten against other Top 5 players.

 

 

 

 

Tofilska

3. SARAH TOFILSKA, NORTH POCONO (10-2)

Last Rank: 3.

Won three matches last week and only losses have come to Jakubek and Carroll.

 

 

 

 

Cykosky

4. PHOEBE CYKOSKY, WALLENPAUPACK (9-1)

Last Rank: 4.

Won three matches last week, only loss is to Carroll; Match against Jakubek was stopped because of weather.

 

 

Habeeb

5. CARLY HABEEB, SCRANTON PREP (12-0)

Last Rank: 5.

Rising star who remained undefeated with a pair of wins, including a straight-sets win over Clare Della Valle, who had been ranked this season.

 

 

Players to watch: Sarah Sposito (NP) 11-1, Lauren Koczwara (AH) 11-0, Mary Huffman (SCR) 7-5, Megan Musso (SCR) 8-4, Lauren Palmitier (HC) 7-4, Samantha Labrosky (RIV) 7-5; Caroline Cadden (HC) 9-1; Isabel Hou (SP) 10-2; Kiana DeJesus (VV) 7-4; Sam Atcavage (WW) 9-0; Sam Pritzlaff (WW) 7-4.

 

 


 

 

WHAT’S AHEAD?

 

There are two play dates remaining. Today and Thursday and the regular season will be completed. There remains intriguing matches between Valley View and Holy Cross today and North Pocono at Wallenpaupack on Thursday.

Here’s the remaining schedule:

 

TODAY
Scranton at Riverside
Wallenpaupack at Montrose
Scranton Prep at Honesdale
West Scranton at North Pocono
Western Wayne at Abington Heights
Delaware Valley at Mid Valley
Holy Cross at Valley View

 

Wallenpaupack’s Phoebe Cykosky.

THURSDAY
Montrose at Scranton
Riverside at Scranton Prep
North Pocono at Wallenpaupack
Honesdale at Western Wayne
Mid Valley at West Scranton
Dunmore at Holy Cross
Valley View at Delaware Valley

 

FRIDAY
Valley View at Abington Heights

 

MONDAY
Montrose at Western Wayne

 


 

That is all for today.

I’ll keep everyone posted on postseason matchups as teams finish their seasons.

ENJOY!