ST. MARYS — Top-seeded Elk County Catholic and third-seeded Punxsutawney captured victories in the District 9 Class AA boys team tennis semifinals to set up a showdown for the title next week.
Elk County Catholic swept fourth-seeded Johnsonburg, 5-0, at Benzinger Park, while Punxsy upset second-seeded St. Marys, 3-2, in the Dutch’s clay courts at the high school.
Isaac Wortman got the Crusaders off to a strong start with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Nick Bliss in the No. 1 singles match. Teammates Ryan Newton and Nick Daghir followed suit with wins at second and third singles, respectively.
Newton upended Ram Kolton Mehalko, 6-1, 6-2, while Daghir topped Scott Lewis, 6-1, 6-3.
In doubles action, Ross Martin teamed up with Ken Barron to best Rams Dan Dillinger and Jacob Newman, 6-2, 6-1. Teammates Nolan Fannin and Sam Cerroni knocked off Cole Secco and Scott Sallack, 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles.
Across town, Punxsy captured two of the three singles matches — with a three-set, come-from-behind win by victory by Vincent Gigliotti at second singles playing a huge role in the Chucks victory.
Punxsy No. 1 Matt Blose notched a 6-0, 6-0 win against Adam Snyder, while St. Marys’ Kyle Gardner upended Ben Fezell, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
The Dutch also picked up a win at No. 1 doubles, where Joe Lewis and Cody Schaberl beat Braxton Sherry and Nick Humble, 6-2, 6-4.
Punxsy won the second doubles contest, with Garrett Fairman and Andrew Young beating Dylan Aiello and Jon Chamberlain, 6-4, 6-3.
That left singles match between Gigliotti and Dutchman Zach Hart remaining. Hart took the opening set, 6-4, but Gigliotti rallied to win the final two sets, 6-4, 6-3, to push Punxsy on to the finals.
Elk County and Punxsy will battle for the team crown Wednesday at DuBois High School at 3:30 p.m.