STATE COLLEGE - For the fifth straight season, the Hollidaysburg girls tennis team won the District 6 Class AAA team championship. But this time, it probably took a little longer than in the past.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Lady Tigers drove to State College High School to meet the Little Lady Lions in the finals. The match got started, but rainy weather forced the team to have to stop and then look for another place to play.
"We were about 45 minutes in, we had a lot of momentum going, but it was drizzling the entire time. It got hard enough that it covered the courts and we had to stop," said Hollidaysburg coach Brian Denis, who wound up having to transport his team to the Penn State Sarni Center where his club finished off State College with a 3-0 victory. The final two matches were suspended when it Hollidaysburg got its third win and State could not come back with only two matches left.
"This is probably the most satisfying championship in my 13 years of coaching," Denis said. "We lost four of our top five players from last year. This team is so coachable. Whatever I told them to do, they did it."
No. 1 singles player Marissa Lanzel beat Cathy Badding, 6-1, 6-1. That was the first match to end. The, the No. 1 doubles team - Alyssa Pheasant and Elyse Smilnak, beat Caitlin McGlaughlin and Elizabeth Easterling, 6-0, 6-1.
The focus went to No. 3 singles player Sierra Cobler, who if she could beat Amy Poissang, would give Hollidaysburg the title.
"It was one of those situations where all the girls were scoreboard watching at that point," Denis said. "She was up 5-0, and then it got a little shaky, but she finished it for us."
Cobler won, 6-0, 6-1 as Hollidaysburg improved to 18-0 on the season. State College finished at 15-2.
Hollidaysburg's Maisie Supp, and the No. 2 doubles team of Aly Baum and Helen Rose, had their matches suspended, but Supp was up in her match, while Baum and Rose were behind in their matchup.
Denis' team will take on DuBois, the District 9 champ, next Tuesday in the first round of states. It will be at Clearfield if the weather is good, but if it rains, the match will be played in Altoona at The Summit Tennis & Athletic Club.
"We beat them during the regular season," Denis said of DuBois. "If we win, we will go to Hershey for the final eight."