Peng and Pham lead Parkland to Prominence

By Tyler Trumbauer

Winning 66 straight contests in any sports is a daunting task. However, that was achieved by Parkland’s girls’ tennis team after they finished their 2012 regular season with an 11-0 record. That brought Parkland to 66-0 over the last six seasons in Lehigh Valley Conference play.

First year head coach, George Grim, came in to a very successful program at Parkland and had the job of ensuring that the victories would keep mounting for the Trojans. To assist Grim in completing that task were two stellar junior tennis players, Jenna Peng and TuQueyen Pham. Both of whom were leaders for this team as they led by example out on the court during every match.

Peng did not lose one singles match until she faced Brittany Pajoe from East Stroudsburg South in the District 11 AAA singles championship. Pajoe ousted Peng, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.

Peng and Pham were also doubles partners on occasion and together they won the District 11 AAA doubles championship by defeating Ashley Jones and Jess Wain of Bangor, 6-1, 6-2. The duo took their D-11 title and headed into the state tournament to face off against Sarah Sambrick and Savannah Burton of Lampeter-Strasburg. The top two Trojans took that match 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and also advanced to the quarterfinals where they would meet Molly Blair and Amirah Salim of Abington Heights. Unfortunately, that was the end of the road for Peng and Pham as they were defeated by Blair and Salim in straight sets, 7-6(3), 6-3.

Peng and Pham weren’t the only great doubles teams for Parkland. Grim expressed to me his happiness with the others too, “Our second and third doubles teams went undefeated during the regular season. That really shows how strong and how much depth we have.”

Grim is very happy with the success of his girls as a team this year as well. He told me last week in a phone interview that he knew had a winner, “I certainly looked at what happened last year and quickly surmised that I had a great team. What really made it a successful season was having the depth that we had.”

Grim told me that his team wasn’t even challenged until the postseason tournaments. After capping off that undefeated regular season, the lady Trojans charged in to the LVC tournament as the top seed and won gold in four of the six matches. The success continued in to the district tournament where Parkland knocked off Southern Lehigh, Northampton and East Stroudsburg South on their road to a District 11 AAA team championship. The team season ended for Parkland in the first round of the state tournament as they lost to Harriton, 3-0.

The lady Trojans have become accustomed to success on the courts, but aren’t happy quite yet. They want to continue that incredible winning streak and also collect a few more accolades, especially on the state level. There are a lot of talented tennis players in Pennsylvania, but with the dominating team that Parkland has, expect big things from them in 2013.

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