Conestoga off to a strong start in District 1 3A women’s tennis team tournament

Defending PIAA 3A Women’s Tennis State Champion Conestoga got off to a strong start in the PIAA District 1 3A Tag Team Tournament by sweeping Kennett, 5-0, in the first round Monday at the Upper Main Line YMCA.
The undefeated Pioneers (13-0), ranked second in the District 1 3A tournament, featured a different cast of characters this fall than the roster that won the PIAA 3A state championship last year.

“We lost seven starters at graduation last spring,” noted Conestoga head coach Brittany Aimone.
In Monday’s first singles match, rookie Isabelle Emmanuel won 6-0, 6-0; in the second singles, junior Kate Emmanuel won 6-1, 6-1; in third singles, Jennifer He won 6-0, 6-0; in the first double, Bella Chen/Melissa Fan won 6-2, 6-2; and in the second double, Michelle Han/Sowmya Krishna won 6-0, 6-0.
In the second round, played today (Tuesday), Conestoga will host 7th seed Central Bucks East, who beat 10th seed Downingtown East, 3-2, on Monday.
This fall, the Pioneers dominated the Central League, beating all league opponents 7-0 with the sole exception of Radnor (6-1 victory).
At the head of the Pioneers this fall, Isabelle Emmanuel (undefeated in the first single) and Kate Emmanuel (only one defeat in the second single).
Last Saturday, the Emmanuel sisters teamed up to win the Central League doubles title and will compete in the District 1 3A doubles tournament. It was an all-Conestoga championship final in the Central League doubles tournament, as the trailblazing team of He and Chen finished second. Jennifer He was third in singles for Conestoga this fall, and Chen played her first doubles.
Kennett, who entered the tournament with a 10-4 record, was trailed this season by senior captains Anna Jiang in first singles and Lili Lusvardi in second singles. Jiang and Lusvardi will compete as a doubles team in the District 1 3A doubles tournament.
“They’ve been good leaders for us this season,” Kennett coach John Howanski said.
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Downingtown East (11-3) lost to No. 7 seeded Central Bucks East, 3-2, in the first round of the District 1 3A tag team tournament on Monday. For the 10th-seeded Cougars, the winners were Dhriti Munagala in second singles and the duo of Kenley Bernhardt and Libby Blok in second doubles.
Munagala, who hasn’t lost a second singles game all season, has been a key contributor for the Cougars this season. She finished third in the Ches-Mont National Singles Tournament and advanced to the second round of the District 1 3A Singles Tournament.
“Dhriti is a tough competitor and is the driving force behind our team,” D-East coach Chris Waychunas said. “Our doubles players, Twisha Dudgundi, Kenley Bernhardt, Libby Blok and Aarushi Jain, Nicky Burke, Sofia Khalifa, Naishu Vytla, Kayla Orischak and Chaitrali More have all contributed equally and at key times throughout the season. They contributed by simply being team members determined to play their best and help each other achieve the best tennis versions of themselves.
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Top-seeded Unionville moved to 15-0 by sweeping the Academy’s No. 16 park, 5-0, in the District 1 3A Women’s Tennis Team Tournament. The Longhorns won all five games, 6-0, 6-0.

Great Valley, the 11th seed in the tournament, lost to No. 6 seed Wissahickon, 4-1, in the first round on Monday. The Patriots’ only winner was Mabel Qiu, who won the first single.
In other District 1 3A women’s tennis team tournaments Monday, No. 12 West seed Chester Henderson (11-4) lost to fifth seed Wissahickon, 5-0; 8-seeded Radnor beat ninth-seeded Harriton 4-1; 4-seeded Rock South Council beat 13th-seeded Strath Haven, 5-0; and No. 3 seed Spring-Ford beat 14th seed Gwynedd Mercy, 5-0.

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