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Zolotarev reaches district singles final

The strength of Parkland’s boys tennis program this year has been the singles contingent of Dan Zolotarev, Fyodor D’Souza and Josh Thomas.

The big three have presented serious problems this spring for most opponents. Their skill, tennis acumen and determination helped the Trojans forge a superlative 15-0 regular season record.

In the postseason their dominance has evaporated. After Parkland came up short in the EPC tournament on April 21, last week none of Parkland’s big three could win the District 11 Class 3A singles title.

It wasn’t for lack of effort. Zolotarev in particular had a fine tournament. The senior has elevated his game this year and has pleased and impressed coach Michael Hingston with his desire to be a complete tennis player.

“Dan just continues to improve and become a complete tennis player,” Hingston said.

As the tournament’s number two seed, Zolotarev beat Nazareth’s Alex Rodriguez in round one 6-1,6-0. The mastery continued in the quarters, when Zolotarev dismissed Liberty’s Roman Farhad 6-3, 6-1. Then Parkland’s No. 1 offered an inspiring display of tennis in the semis, coming from behind to wear down Stroudsburg’s John Willis, the third seed, 4-6, (7-6) (7-2), 6-3 in a marathon match.

Zolotarev’s tank was on empty for the championship match at Northwood Racquet Club against Freedom’s Noah Potts, losing 6-1, 6-0.

D’Souza was forced to battle as well, winning his first-round tilt over Freedom’s Gavin Labaddia 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Next up for D’Souza was another tenacious tennis player - Liberty’s Shayyan Farhad. After claiming an easy 6-1 win in the first set, D’Souza had no answer to Farhad’s game, losing 6-2, 6-3.

“Fyodor is the craftiest player I’ve ever coached,” Hingston said.

Thomas, Parkland’s emerging star, tangled with Potts in round number one and gave Freedom’s current star a go of it before bowing, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Now it’s do or die for the Trojans as they enter the District 11 Class 3A team tournament as the number-one seed.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Dan Zolotarev reached last week's District 11 singles championship match.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland tennis head coach Mike Hingston recently said Fydor D'Souza (above) is the 'craftiest player' he's ever coached.