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Tennis teams face low numbers, low temps

Pittston Area, Wyoming Area rebuilding on hardcourts

The Pittston Area boys’ tennis team, pictured from left to right, kneeling, Tyler Wrodruff, Terry Briggs, and Trent Woodruff; standing, Assistant Coach Amanda Wascavich, Austin Naples, Justin Coe, Jeremy Homschek, Suraj Pursnani, and Head Coach Kim Collins.

The Wyoming Area boys’ tennis team, pictured from left to right, kneeling, Trevor Alder, Nick Leon, Jon Scrobola, and Davide Fanelli; standing Tom Rose, Conner Mangan, Nick Szewczyk, Tyler Manganiello, and Coach Justin DeSanto.

photos by tony callaio

The boys’ high school tennis season is underway…. or at least that’s what Pittston Area and Wyoming Area thought.

After having one match each played in 30-degree weather and another one each snowed out by a storm that brought six inches of the white stuff on Wednesday, the Patriots and Warriors are looking forward to getting back outside in warmer temperatures so the rebuilding process for both teams can continue.

Veteran Pittston Area coach Kim Collins has a roster of just seven without an upperclassman on the team.

“We have one returning starter, and two other boys returning that did not see varsity play last year,” said Collins.

Sophomore Jeremy Homschek will take over the top singles spot with the Woodruff twins – freshmen Trent and Tyler - in the No.2 and 3 singles positions, respectively. Sophomores Suraj Pursnani and Justin Coe will lead the doubles teams playing No. 1, with sophomore Austin Welch and freshman Terry Briggs play in the No. 2 slot for the Patriots.

Collins is excited about the upcoming season knowing she has a lot to look forward to in the coming years with this young team. Also sharing the excitement is first-year assistant coach, Amanda Wascavich. Wascavich is a former player under Coach Collins and is currently a math teacher at PA. She was a multi-year player at East Stroudsburg University after graduating from Pittston Area.

“Coach Wascavich will bring a lot of experience to the program,” added Collins who is entering her ninth year at the head of the Pittston Area program. “She’s eager and energetic and that could only add to our team.”

Even though Collins is fielding a young team, she believes that after Wyoming Seminary and Dallas, the conference is pretty even. She also feels the Patriots will be in plenty of competitive matches all season.

On the other side of the river, second-year Wyoming Area Justin DeSanto has his work cut out for him even before filling out the lineup.

For the fifth consecutive year the Warriors will play every match on the road. The home courts are, once again, not ready for league play due to being in poor condition. Wyoming Area will get to play two home matches at Pittston Area during the season.

Aside from a season on the road, Wyoming Area also faces a small roster of just eight players. The Warriors cannot face a single injury during the season. Each league team match has a three-singles and two-doubles format totally seven players.

Coach DeSanto is pleased knowing he has five players returning, but one of those players isn’t former No.1 singles player David Dorbad. The senior decided to step out his senior year to focus on track and field.

“No doubt that hurts the team,” said DeSanto. “We could have been a more solid team with Dorbad in the lineup.”

As a result junior Davide Fanelli moves up from No. 2 to the No.1 position, with juniors Jon Scrobola and Nick Szewczyk rounding out the singles lineup at No. 2 and No.3.

The Wyoming Area doubles teams will be comprised of junior Trevor Alder and sophomore Tyler Manganiello at No.1, and freshmen Nick Leon and Conner Mangan at No. 2. Freshman Tom Rose is also in the mix for some playing time.

Besides Sem, Coach DeSanto feels Wyoming Valley West, Tunkhannock and Dallas will all be tough opponents in the Wyoming Valley Conference.

The two Greater Pittston teams were to square off in an unusually early season match this past Wednesday, but the weather postponed the match. That match will be played this coming Wednesday, March 30 with PA hosting at the Martin Mattei School courts on New Street.

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