Focus now turns to upcoming doubles tournament.
Upper Perk senior Mandie Tyrpak was one of two players to play in the PAC-10 singles tournament Saturday. Typak returns to the court Oct. 11 to compete in the PAC-10 doubles tournament.
Despite a near miraculous comeback by Mandie Tyrpak, Upper Perk girls tennis failed to advance any players in the PAC-10 singles tournament held last week at Perk Valley.
Tyrpak, Upper Perk’s No. 1 singles player, fell behind 9-1 to Spring-Ford’s Natalie Wright in the first round of the tournament Saturday and was one game from elimination before clawing her way back to a 9-9 tie. But she dropped the next two games.
“Great comeback,” Tribe Coach John Williamson said. “She was battling a knee injury; she was fighting that the whole match, too. It was a great effort.”
Tyrpak, a senior, rallied by sending Wright to the corners of the court and making her run.
“She was a really solid player; she didn’t make mistakes a lot,” Tyrpak noted.
Despite the loss, Tyrpak’s high school career, which began at fourth doubles when she was in ninth grade, is not over. Next week she will team up with second singles player Eleanor King at the PAC-10 doubles tournament
After her freshman debut, Tyrpak moved to second singles for two years before taking over the top spot this season.
“It is a huge difference,” Tyrpak said. “You’re playing every team’s best-of-the-best. You’re playing the person who most likely wants to play tennis in college.”
To prep for the season, Tyrpak traveled to Bloomsburg during the summer for a weeklong tennis camp.
“They taught me how to make my swing more of a top swing, so that [the ball] would fall more on the court instead of just having a flat hit that would float and carry off the court. We worked a lot on serve.”
Her serve became one of Tyrpak’s strongest assets. She recorded a pair of aces in one game against Wright in their match.
Williamson also saw improvement in many facets of Tyrpak’s game.
“She’s powerful, and she’s pretty consistent, too. She really learned the mental part of the game as well as strategy over the years, which is difficult for a lot of people to grasp.”
King was eliminated by Phoenixville’s Robin Burgess, 10-5, in her only match.
Still the climb to second singles in her senior year was a story in and of itself since King did not play organized tennis until her ninth grade year.
“I remember when I was a freshman, and I could not get a serve in,” she said. “Now looking back at that I think I was kind of pathetic.”
King worked her way up through the JV ranks to varsity doubles last year.
“I wish I would have done better, but it was OK. I’m happy that I got to play second singles. Second singles is all the really, really consistent people. Every single shot they will return and get it in.”
Williamson, in his fifth season as girls coach, expected a rebuilding year after losing a large amount of players to graduation. The Tribe was 2-7 in the league.
“I knew coming in that we’d be a little inexperienced and definitely not as deep of a team as we’ve been in the past,” he said.
The regular season did end on a successful note on Tuesday in a 5-2 win over Christopher Dock. Sarah Kramer, who also was eliminated at the PAC-10s, won at third singles while Jaime Dennis and Meagan Quinn, Rachel Weidner and Holly Crossin, Aly Licopoli and Jess Crilley, and Emily Moll and Carly Bernhart won at doubles.
Dennis and Quinn will join King and Tyrpak as another doubles team at Perk Valley next week.