Bethlehem Press

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sinai, Packo district champs Sinai, Packo district champs

Sinai, Packo district champs

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Freedom tennis players Natalie Sinai and Becky Packo clinched the gold medal in the District XI Class 3A Doubles Tennis Championships after defeating Nazareth’s Hallie DeNardo and Jenn Soika 6-3, 6-3 last Thursday at Winning Touch in Allentown.

The winning point came on a hard shot down the line by Sinai.

“I know I can make those shots but today I was really nervous,” Sinai said. “At the end I felt more relaxed so I knew I could make that shot.”

The Patriots had control of the first set but fell behind early in the second set.

“After we broke at 3-3, we became more assertive,” said Freedom coach Mark Sigmon. “Once that started, we became more aggressive, and then that’s the deal.

“I feel really good for Natalie. She’s been in the finals twice with Kaitlyn [Swint]. I think her experience and her leadership really helped us here. Becky played great. Her strokes were better. In the end, with them both playing back, maybe that’s the way to win.”

In the last game of the match, Packo had two long volleys with DeNardo and Soika.

“I just kept hitting, really. See if they can miss. That’s all you can do,” Packo said. “It’s amazing.”

The district doubles tournament began on Oct. 16 when Sinai and Packo defeated East Stroudsburg North, 6-1, 6-1, and Southern Lehigh, 6-3, 6-4.

The following day, Sinai and Packo won their quarterfinal match against Whitehall, 6-1, 6-0, and their semifinal match against Parkland, 6-4, 6-3.

“The last match we played was against Parkland’s one and two singles players, and it was probably the best we played. It was a tight match,” said Sinai.

Sinai and Packo will compete in the PIAA 3A Girls’ Doubles Tennis Championships on Nov. 3 at Hershey Racquet Club.