Cumberland Valley’s Riya Srinivas wins Mid-Penn 3A girls tennis singles title

Cumberland Valley’s Riya Srinivas defeated Mechanicsburg’s Ryma Saha, 6-3, 6-0, for the Mid-Penn Class 3A title Monday at CD East.


Cumberland Valley freshman Riya Srinivas had all the momentum when she tossed the tennis ball into the air, serving for the match — and the Mid-Penn’s Class 3A singles title against Mechanicsburg’s Ryma Saha Monday afternoon at Central Dauphin East.

An hour earlier, the two freshman had traded games and service breaks at the start of their sun-soaked title tilt, but after seizing momentum midway through the first set and winning nine straight games, Srinias punched her match-point serve just inside the box , sending it beyond the reach of Saha and clinching a 6-3, 6-0 victory for the conference title.

“Since serves were kind of the hardest part of my game,” Srinivas said, “it felt nice to finish it with that.”

Srinivas celebrated the match point with a subtle hop as she walked towards the net to tap rackets with Saha. Footwork, Srinivas said, had weighed her down in the first part of the match that saw the two combatants split the first four games in the first set. Saha won the fifth game, breaking Srinivas’ serve to take a 3-2 lead.

People are also reading…

“I realized that I wasn’t moving my feet very well,” Srinivas said. “I started to move my feet and just got into a rhythm again.”

Srinivas found her rhythm out of the changeover, and it carried the Eagles’ ace to wins in the final four games of the first set. She had to fight back from a love-40 deficit in the clinching game while serving for the set.

“Whenever I’m down, I feel like I play better,” she said. “When I’m losing and I’ve managed to win, I get even more momentum.”

Srinivas broke Saha’s serve to open the second set and never looked back.

Local freshmen lead charge into 2022 Mid-Penn girls tennis tournament

“We kind of had the same strategy,” Saha said, “She kind of changed hers up in the second set, and I think it worked very well for her.”

Saha challenged Srinivas in the third game, but Srinivas passed the test, capping the long bout with a forehand winner into the corner.

“She’s really consistent, Srinivas said of Saha, “so I had to work on just being consistent not making the first mistake and waiting for her to miss.”

Both Srinivas and Saha qualified for the District 3 Class 3A singles tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Hershey Racquet Club. Northern’s Madeline White finished sixth overall after suffering a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 loss to Central Dauphin’s Lauryn Chotiner in the fifth-place match.

Cumberland Valley girls tennis tops Carlisle 4-1, builds early season momentum

Srinivas’ Mid-Penn title headlined a day that featured two other Cumberland Valley finalists. Hershey’s Emma Corcoran rallied for a three-set win (3-6, 6-1, 6-3) over the Eagles’ Varnika Udhayakumar in the No. 3 singles final, and Cumberland Valley’s Megha Lomada and Prinavi Surapaneni grinded out a 6- 7(8), 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Hershey’s Alicia Xie and Diya Tewari in a three-set showdown that featured two tiebreakers for the No. 1 doubles title. The Eagles qualified for the District 3 team tournament scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm Thursday with a first-round match against Manheim Central at Hershey Racquet Club.

Srinivas and Udhayakumar also won the Mid-Penn’s district-qualifying doubles bracket, defeating Palmyra’s Nitya Patel and Marissa Nicholson 6-1, 6-3 in Monday’s final. Carlisle’s Callie Culbertson and Rory Ade defeated Mechanicbsurg’s Patricia Kandrot and Jackie Wyszynski 7-6, 6-4 in the fifth-place match. The District 3 doubles tournament is scheduled for Oct. 21-22 at Hershey Racquet Club.

Earlier, Kandrot clinched her second consecutive Mid-Penn No. 2 singles title, defeating Central Dauphin’s Katie Berra 6-1, 6-3 in Monday’s final. While Kandrot closed her senior singles season with a title, Saha picked up lessons throughout her first trip through the Mid-Penn tournament bracket.

“It was hard,” Saha said, “going through all these really good players, and some of them are older than me. The match before Riya, that was pretty hard. But it’s been a good journey, and I’m glad I made it this far.”

Tim Gross is the sports editor at The Sentinel and cumberlink.com. Email him at tgross@cumberlink.com and follow him on Twitter at: @ByTimGross

.