Boys varsity tennis team falls to Abington, then defeats Western Wayne

While Old Man Winter has been slow to release his icy grip on NEPA, Honesdale's boys varsity tennis team has been bravely battling the elements in early season Lackawanna League action.

The Hornets suffered a 5-0 loss to perennial District Two powerhouse Abington Heights in their opener.

However, Coach Keith Andrews' squad bounced right back with a solid 4-1 win over cross-county rival Western Wayne.

“Should be a season of excitement and challenges,” the veteran skipper said. “We added six new players who have limited exposure to the sport or are just starting to learn.”

The Red & Black are 1-1 on the season. Weather permitting, they'll be back on the court Monday on the road at Dunmore.

Net action gets underway at 4 p.m.

One Up, One Down

Abington, Scranton Prep and Valley View figure to be in a three-way dogfight for this year's Lackawanna League championship.

The Comets have won their first two matches, as have the Cavaliers and the Cougars.

Abington went 12-2 last year en route to yet another Class AAA title. Prep made it to the AA finals, but was knocked off by Dallas in a 3-2 thriller.

Honesdale is coming off a 4-10 season and finished sixth among the league's AA squads. The Hornets have their sights set on a run at making the district tournament this spring.

“The season is young but holds a lot of promise for these young men,” said Coach Andrews. “They showed a lot of grit and determination in their first two matches.”

Following their season-opening shutout at the hands of Abington, the local lads rebounded to post an impressive win at home over Western Wayne.

Lenny Maiocco, one of the area's top players, rolled to a straight set victory over Honesdale's Jason Demers at first singles. The final score was 6-1, 6-1.

“This year's squad is anchored by returning first singles player Jason Demers,” Coach Andrews said. “He's a junior and a team captain. Jason is primed for a classic first singles run to the districts after an outstanding sophomore campaign.”

The Red & Black dominated the match from that point on, though, sweeping the rest of the singles matches and both doubles encounters.

Ethan Rickard prevailed at the number two spot, battling his way to a 7-5, 6-4 decision over Western Wayne's Matt Leslie.

“Ethan showed a great deal of improvement from last year to this year,” said Coach Andrews. “That allowed him to move up from third to second in our singles line-up.”

Noah Theobald and Mitchell Herzog went toe-to-toe in an epic battle at third singles. In the end, though, Honesdale's talented youngster emerged with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win.

“Noah has the skills required to play third singles and he understands the game,” Coach Andrews said. “I'm expecting Noah to have a great campaign in his first year.”

In doubles action, the Hornets powered their way to a straight set victory in the first match. The dynamic duo of Adam Blake and Gibbs Goodenough defeated Western Wayne's Kasen Taylor and Mike Devore by a final score of 6-2, 6-2.

“Adam and Gibbs are new to the team,” Coach Andrews said. “They bring a level of excitement and consistency that should translate into a successful season this year.”

Honesdale also snagged the team point at second doubles as Western Wayne was forced to forfeit due to insufficient numbers.

Brothers Eli and Brady Hanson are the starters.

“They are also new to the sport and they've done a great job picking things up quickly,” Coach Andrews said. “Eli and Brady work well together and they complement one another's skill sets.”

Coming Up

The Hornets will be hosting their inaugural Quad County Tournament this coming weekend.

According to Coach Andrews, the event will take place on Saturday at the Daniel J. O'Neill Sports Complex. Action begins at 9 a.m.

“I'm excited,” he said. “We did something similar with the girls last fall and it went very well.”

Four teams have already confirmed their attendance at Saturday's first-ever event: Valley View, Wilkes Barre GAR, MMI Prep and, of course, Honesdale.

This tournament is just one part of a comprehensive plan by the Hornet staff to raise funds and awareness for the program.

Coach Andrews hopes to generate enough money to purchase a new ball machine and a shed to store all the tennis equipment.

If you'd like to help out, please contact the school at 570-253-2046.