Jennifer Freitag teamed up with Scott Roth to defeat Lower Moreland's Robbie Roshkoff and ShawnGomer in the quarterfinals Friday, 7-5, 7-5. That victory propelled them into the state championships scheduled for Bloomsburg University on May 23-24. However, in the semifinal round against Abington's Vicki Mordan and Dan Schwartz, they lost, 7-5, 7-5. Then in the playoffs for third and fourth place in the tournament, Freitag and Roth beat Council Rock's Laura Gavin and Blake Gerney, 7-6, 6-4.
"We had to win one match (against Lower Moreland) to make the states," Jennifer said. "We were really up for that one. We were really happy to make the states, and we relaxed a little bit (in the succeeding matches)."
Abington's Mordan and Schwartz won the District 1 title in the mixed doubles competition; Conestoga's Andrea Dutton and David Fultz finished second. There had been no seeding before the competition; team names had been drawn from a hat.
"Jen played beautifully," coach Freitag said. "Especially against Roshkoff and Gomer, she and her partner played flawlessly. They didn't miss a volley, which is the key to doubles play. She surprised me, playing so well at the net. Scott played well also. I never thought of him as a volleyer. But the two of them outvolleyed the other team.
"In the next match (Abington), they played a good team, but having made the states, I think they let up. I think they started in the hole and never could get it quite together."
A sophomore like Scott Roth, Jennifer made it to the states last season with Scott's older brother, Rich. They lost in the quarterfinals to a team that lost in the finals.
Mark Freitag and Chris Alwine had entered the boys doubles competition Friday seeded No. 1. But the No. 4 seed, Conestoga's Mark Caltabiano and Kyle Merrow, pounced on them, 6-2, 6-2. Freitag and Alwine then played off for the third and fourth spots in the tourney and lost, 6-4, 6-4 to Council Rock's Elijah Gowin and Chris Arabis. Caltabiano and Merrow finished as the district champs. The No. 2 seed, Methacton's Joe Sutherland and Scott Famous, placed second.
"We came in fourth and we were seeded one, but there were a lot of good teams there," Freitag said. "Personally, we did what was expected of us. We
qualified for the states and that's important.
"I didn't play well in the first match. I was hitting with power, but I wasn't vollying well. Chris played very well in our first match. I played a lot better in the second."
Coach Freitag analyzed the matches and came to the conclusion that his doubles team just couldn't put it together on that particular day.
"If Chris had played in the second match (against Council Rock) the way he had played in the first, and if Mark had played in the first (Conestoga) the way he played in the second, they would have done well," he said.
"In the first match, Mark was overhitting. He went out there with the idea that he was going to overpower his opponent. I tried to settle him down between the first and second set. He played better in the second set, but he is a heavy hitter who went to the opposite extreme. He was blocking instead of stinging the ball."
In Catholic League tennis, La Salle enters the quarterfinals of the Catholic League Championships today when the Explorers host St. Joseph's Prep. La Salle (10-1) finished the regular season in a three-way tie for first place with Archbishop Ryan and Archbishop Carroll, when the Explorers fell to Ryan last Tuesday, 56-51.
La Salle and Ryan are rivals who are well acquainted with each other. The Catholic League champs for the last three years, the Explorers defeated Ryan in the title game last season. Earlier that year, the Red Raiders had halted a 32-game win streak by La Salle.
"We thought we could beat Ryan (last Tuesday), and are hopeful that if we meet them again we can beat them," said La Salle coach Brother Bill Riley.
The Explorers' mentor may get his wish. If his players get by St. Joe's Prep, as expected, they may meet Ryan or Carroll or both down the playoff road on Wednesday and Friday. Ryan and Carroll had drawn byes in the quarterfinals.