The Cathedral Prep tennis team is wrapping up their season with a fourth straight trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the PIAA championships. On Tuesday, May 14, the Ramblers competed in the first round of the state tournament against the Peters Township Indians at Westwood Racquet Club for the opportunity to compete in the quarterfinals of the PIAA team tournament.
After losing to Peters Township during the regular season by a score of 3-2, the Cathedral Prep tennis team was the underdog in this playoff matchup. The Ramblers came out very strong as a team, and the first set of every single match was secured by Prep. This was a huge advantage to Prep, as it put a lot of pressure on Peters Township. The first point for the Ramblers was won by first singles player, Matt DeMarco, who defeateded Connor Bruce, a top player in the WPIAL by a score of 6-2, 6-0. This was a very big win for DeMarco for many reasons, as he took down his soon to be teammate at the University of Dayton to record his 100th career win. Few players have even come close to winning 100 matches in their high school career with the new PIAA match format, and it might never be done again.
When asked about this incredible match and his 100th career win, DeMarco said, “It’s a great accomplishment, and I’m proud to do it as a Rambler.”
Winning the second point for the Ramblers was second singles player, Tom Prichard, who stepped his game up to another level and bested Elian Ascencio by a score of 6-3, 7-5. Prichard, a sophomore, has really put in work this season and taken his game to another level and is expected to play first singles for the Ramblers next season. Winning the final point for Cathedral Prep with a huge upset was the first doubles team of Jon Horstman and Corbin Glance. They defeated Ethan Farmer and Dru Lilley of Peters Township by a final score of 6-4, 7-5 to secure the match for the Ramblers and send them to Hershey. Prep first doubles really brought their A game to the match, and senior Jon Horstman showed incredible leadership by stepping up and handling the pressure like a pro.
First doubles giving the Cathedral Prep Tennis team their third win of the match secured the trip to Hershey, and the two remaining matches were pulled because the winner was already decided. The two remaining matches were very close, as Prep’s second doubles team of Evan Rowane and Johnny Kretzing had won the first set 6-4 and were down 5-6 in the second set. Third singles was even closer, as David Estes was just entering a third set, as he won the first set by a score of 6-2, but then lost the second set 2-6.
After this big win in the first round of the state tournament, the Ramblers will now compete in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Friday, May 17, against Radnor High School from District 1.