Masterman’s Jonathan Nottingham will begin his title defense in Class 2A singles Friday at the PIAA tennis championships in Hershey.
The Carnegie Mellon recruit will face District 9 champion Isaac Wortman of Elk County Catholic at the Hershey Racquet Club in the preliminary round at 8:30 a.m. If Nottingham wins, he’ll play a quarterfinal match at 3 p.m.
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Earlier this month, Nottingham beat Moravian Academy’s Robbie Shaff, 6-1, 6-1, in Masterman’s 3-2 loss in the preliminary round of the Class 2A team tournament. Now the senior has the chance to close his career with back-to-back state titles.
“I know that it’s an opportunity not a lot of people get,” Nottingham said. “So I’m very excited, and I’m just very focused right now ... on controlling what I can control and preparing for this tournament.”
Nottingham finished his career in District 12 matches undefeated. He beat Catholic League MVP Mitchell Bramlage of Devon Prep to win this year’s district title.
The right-hander’s “bread-and-butter shot” is his two-handed backhand, coach Tracy Tooke said. After losing in the first round of the 2017 state singles tournament, Nottingham has focused on improving his play at the net, he said.
“He has an all-court game, and he can be aggressive from any area of the court,” Tooke said.
Dock Mennonite’s Robert Cercos Gonzalez, the District 1 Class 2A singles champion, will also play in the tournament. He will face Adam Warren from District 3’s Trinity.
District 12 champions Minh Nguyen and Jacob Marion from GAMP will face Adam Snyder and Zach Hart, the District 9 champions from St. Mary’s Area, in the preliminary round of the Class 2A doubles tournament.
Lower Moreland’s Josh Arno and Mihir Ram, the District 1 winners, will also compete at 10 a.m.
Unionville’s Tristan Bradley, the District 1 runner-up, will face District 11 champion Sean Jaeger from Emmaus in the preliminary round of the Class 3A singles tournament at 11:30 a.m.
Unionville’s Ethan Bradley will face Sachin Thiagarajan, the District 8 champion from Obama Academy. Ethan and Tristan Bradley could play in the semifinals if each wins two matches.
District 12 champion David Mamalat from Northeast will play Taylor Allderdice’s David Missry.
Great Valley’s Sameer Gangoli, who helped the Patriots win this year’s team tournament and won the 2018 singles title, will play Rami Alkhafaji from Hollidaysburg Area.
Mamalat and Gangoli would face each other in the quarterfinals if they both win.
Upper Darby’s Brandon Caban will play District 10 champion Matt DeMarco from Cathedral Prep.
Doubles pairs from five local schools will compete in the Class 3A doubles tournament.
Wissahickon’s Andrew Tran and Vidit Makwana will face Nazareth’s Gabe Knowles and Andrew Nicolae at 1 p.m.
Downingtown East’s Navid Eghbali and Abhinav Pillai will play District 8 champions Joey Forster and Maurice Dumas from Brashear.
District 12 champions Aidan Vesci and Dan Porreca from La Salle will play Peters Township’s Connor Bruce and Elian Ascencio.
District 1 champions Vikas Miller and Justin Minerva from Lower Merion will play State College’s Owen Lloyd and Drew Cagle. The local district champs would play each other in the quarterfinals if they win.