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Shorthanded tennis team tops EHS

"You play with who you have," said Parkland tennis head coach Mike Hingston after his team downed rival Emmaus 5-2 Tuesday for their 110th straight Lehigh Valley Conference win. That mantra was important for his team, which was without number two singles player Pete Harrison and a couple of other players who were on a class field trip.

The missing players provided an opportunity for some young players to shine, including sophomore Nate Lyman, who picked up a key win at number three singles against Eric Ma, winning 6-2, 6-0. In addition to Lyman's win, Parkland swept all four doubles matches in straight sets.

"Kind of the next man in theory," said Hingston. "That's one of the things that makes us a good team is the depth. People get hurt, people get sick and sometimes have family obligations and sometimes, you don't have all of your players. To our credit, we were able to take the doubles matches in straight sets and Nate Lyman did a terrific job at number three in winning that match, so we eked out the win."

The win leaves Parkland (7-0, 7-0) as the only undefeated team in the LVC ranks, dropping Emmaus to (5-1, 5-1) on the season.

"It's always nice to beat them, because they're tough," said Hingston. "It feels good to beat Emmaus. Anytime you can win against them, it's hard-earned. This match was close and in a couple of those doubles matches, there were sets that could have gone either way and once you get into a third set, anything can happen."

It's hard to believe, but the tennis regular season is at the halfway point and it's time to start thinking about the postseason. One problem is that the weather has caused a backlog of games for teams over the next couple of weeks, leaving little time for practice and working on the nuances of the sport.

Even though the Trojans swept the doubles matches, Hingston would like a little more time to work with his doubles players, but instead, will have to get them on-the-job training because of a limited practice schedule.

"What makes it difficult, in particular, is that you don't have time to work with the doubles teams," Hingston said. "We haven't had that much time anyway, because with the weather being what it was, we lost so much time. There's not much you can do in the gym and it's very difficult to work on positioning and doubles tactics without being on the court, so that makes it difficult.

"On the other hand, the match experience is important for these guys, because a lot of them are new to varsity," said Hingston. "For instance, Aneesh Kapoor is playing doubles for us and he's a freshman, so the match experience is very important, so it's good and bad,"

Parkland is at home against Allen this afternoon and hosts Southern Lehigh Saturday before playing another home match against Nazareth on Tuesday.