Nowak And Pizzano Finish Second At D2 Singles Tournament
CLARKS SUMMIT — Wyoming Area’s Brianna Pizzano and Hazleton Area’s Lily Nowak reached their respective final, but both finished second against a pair of rising stars at the girls tennis District 2 Singles Championships on Wednesday.
Pizzano, who entered the Class 2A event as the two-time defending champion and the No. 1 seed, lost to Riverside freshman Karissa Ghigiarelli, 6-0, 6-0, in the final at Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Center.
“I am definitely happy that I made the final again,” Pizzano said. “Karissa is a really talented player. Next time, I am going to learn to go for my shots a little more and play with a little more confidence.”
In Class 3A, Nowak, who reached her third straight final and was also the top seed, lost to Abington Heights freshman Bella Peters, 6-3, 6-0.
“I think I played well overall,” Nowak said. “My first serve could have been a little bit better. Bella is a terrific player and she outplayed me.”
Pizzano had an otherwise strong tournament. She breezed through the first day, winning her three matches in straight sets while losing only three games.
In the semifinals, she faced Wyoming Seminary’s Nicole Joanlanne in a rematch between two Wyoming Valley Conference standouts. Joanlanne was the No. 4 seed and reached the semifinal with a hard-fought win over Tunkhannock’s Jillian Landon and Scranton Prep’s Megan McDonald in the quarterfinals.
Using her strength and athleticism, Pizzano rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 win to advance to her third straight final.
“That win was pretty big,” Pizzano said. “Nicole is also an amazing player. I don’t think the score was indicative of how close the match was. There were a lot of long points.”
Against Ghigiarelli, who dispatched of Holy Redeemer’s Camryn Cassetori, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals, Pizzano played hard, but faced a daunting challenge.
Ghigiarelli entered the match undefeated this season and is ranked among the top freshman players in the USTA Middle States poll. Her power and precision overwhelmed Pizzano in the final.
Nowak lost to teammate Stephanie Mazurek in each of the last two Class 3A finals. She defeated Williamsport’s Natalia Diaz, 6-3, 6-0, to return to the championship match.
In the final, Nowak used a series of strong returns to take three games in the first set, but Peters seized control and fed off her building momentum on her way to a win.
“This was my first year playing at No. 1 singles, so to get back to the final is a big thing,” Nowak said. “It is a big accomplishment getting back to the final.”
Both Pizzano and Nowak will now shift their focus to the District 2 Doubles Tournament that is set to begin Monday.
“I am looking forward to that tournament now, because it gives me another chance,” Pizzano said.
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DISTRICT 2 CLASS 2A Semifinals
1-Brianna Pizzano (WA) over 4-Nicole Joanlanne (SEM), 6-0, 6-1; 2-Karissa Ghigiarelli (RIV) over 3-Camryn Cassetori (HR), 6-0, 6-0.
2-Ghigiarelli (RIV) over 1-Pizzano (WA), 6-0, 6-0.
DISTRICT 2-4 CLASS 3A Subregional semifinals
1-Lily Nowak (HAZ) over 4-Natalia Diaz (Williamsport), 6-3, 6-0; 2-Bella Peters (AH) over 3-Phoebe Cykosky (WAL), 6-1, 6-2.
2-Peters (AH) over Nowak (HAZ), 6-3, 6-0.