Yurconic places second in districts
For John Yurconic to reach the quarterfinals of the District 11 Class AA singles tournament last season as a freshman was quite an accomplishment. For him to make a big jump to the finals as a sophomore was an even bigger feat, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't disappointed when he lost in the finals to Moravian Academy's Zach Shaff 6-1, 6-0 Monday afternoon at Lehigh University.
Shaff, who was making his third trip to the district finals, took command of the match and had Yurconic moving around the court for much of the contest. The two engaged in a number of long rallies, but Shaff seemed to find a way to win the majority of those rallies.
"I definitely didn't play as well as I could have and I was a little disappointed, but there's always next year and I'm going to work my [behind] off to come back better than ever next year," said Yurconic. "It was kind of the way that our matches always go. I just didn't hit the shots that I have before, the matches are usually closer than this was. I just need to look at the positives out of this and work at practice and try to get better."
In Shaff's last two trips to the finals, he was bested by Northwestern's Henry Paiste, who was a year ahed of Shaff. The same sort of relationship could be developing between Shaff and Yurconic, with Shaff being the elder statesman this time around, but Yurconic isn't conceding anything to Shaff.
"It's tough," said Yurconic. "He's a great player and I just have to try to get him out of his game, move him around, and that didn't happen today, so I've just got to work and get better at it."
While Yurconic was disappointed in his play, he's put together quite a season, which included a win over Parkland's Nick Kshatri, the top-seeded player in the Class AAA bracket. Kshatri dropped a three-set match to Emmaus' Matt FitzMaurice in the district finals on Monday. Yurconic's win over Kshatri this past Saturday marked a high point in his season and provided some added confidence coming into the district finals.
"I wanted to ride that momentum into today and it just didn't happen. Next time will be better," said Yurconic. "Going from the quarterfinals last year to the finals as a sophomore is a big jump and you can only go up from here. I definitely have high expectations for next year as a junior."
Yurconic will be back in action this week with fellow sophomore Mason Groff. They are the top seeded doubles team in Class AA for this week's tournament.
"Mason and I will definitely do well in doubles and I'm confident in our abilities," said Yurconic.
The doubles tournament gets underway this afternoon at Saucon Valley High School, with Groff and Yurconic facing Mason Hudnall and Sam Martini of Pen Argyl in the first round of the tournament.