Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Press photo by Nancy ScholzLiberty’s Dan Lynn and Louis Gruber, right, were able to knock off teammates Luke Conrad and David Lynn during the District 11 doubles finals last week. In the middle is head coach Leo Schnalzer. Press photo by Nancy ScholzLiberty’s Dan Lynn and Louis Gruber, right, were able to knock off teammates Luke Conrad and David Lynn during the District 11 doubles finals last week. In the middle is head coach Leo Schnalzer.

Double the Fun!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Liberty has two doubles team battle for District 11 title

Liberty’s number one doubles team of Dan Lynn and Louis Gruber became District 11 doubles tennis champions after winning their match against Hurricane teammates Luke Conrad and David Lynn 6-4, 6-1 last Friday at Winning Touch in Allentown.

“It feels great,” said Dan Lynn. “We’re a good combination, and we gelled. Louis was great, and he always finds a way to make the shot.”

Accustomed to playing more singles than doubles, Lynn and Gruber had to play with a different strategy.

“The adjustment wasn’t too hard. I think the biggest was playing inside and adjusting to the speed after playing the last four matches outside,” said Gruber. “It feels really great, almost a little surreal. It’s amazing, and all of our hard work paid off.”

Conrad and David Lynn presented a challenge in the first set.

“We were trying to do some things, like go to Danny’s backhand, and they were both being active at the net. Both of them are known for hitting crazy shots,” Conrad said. “For me, I’m happy for them. It was weird standing next to Danny again, but they deserved it.”

Last year, it was Conrad and Dan Lynn who got the district doubles silver medal together. For David Lynn, Dan’s brother, it was a new experience, mostly because David is a freshman. David is also a left-handed player.

“It does [challenge opponents]. The spin throws people off, especially with the slice serve,” said David Lynn. “They played really well. They deserved it.”

The road to the district doubles final was fairly straightforward for Lynn and Gruber, and a little less for Conrad and Lynn.

“It was very satisfying, being able to beat Parkland’s number one doubles team,” said Conrad. “That was probably our best doubles match all year. It was action-packed, and there was a lot of net play. We just scraped through and made stuff happen.”

The Hurricanes beat the Trojans 7-6, 6-4 in the semifinal.

“David served ridiculously well and broke them,” Conrad said.

Conrad and Lynn also won a three set match in the second round against East Stroudsburg South 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

“I was terrified in that first set. They had incredible serves,” said Conrad. “David and I decided we had to start playing really far back. We were standing at the back fence, and we were a little scrappier than they were.”

Throughout the tournament, Liberty coach Leo Schnalzer and assistant coach Chris Conrad maintained a relatively quiet presence, especially during the district final.

“We just felt we had done all we could do at this point, and we didn’t want to change anything. Game seven [in the first set] was a big turning point for Luke and David. We wanted to let them play and not get in their way,” said Schnalzer.

Chris Conrad pointed out that the coaching was similar during semis and quarters.

“We also didn’t want anyone to feel slighted [during the final],” Chris Conrad said.

Lynn and Gruber will advance to the PIAA State Doubles Tournament which is scheduled to be played May 26 and 27 in Hershey, Pa.