State tennis champ Jonathan Nottingham led way for Masterman

Masterman junior Jonathan Nottingham won the PIAA Class 2A boys’ tennis singles title. -12062018-0002
Masterman junior Jonathan Nottingham won the PIAA Class 2A state boys’ tennis singles title.

Masterman junior Jonathan Nottingham achieved a personal milestone this year by winning the PIAA Class 2A boys’ tennis singles title. Behind his leadership, the Blue Dragons enjoyed a championship season.

“He’s so talented but also very humble,” said Tracy Tooke, who just completed her first season as Masterman’s head coach. “His presence on and off the court is inspiring. He’s such a great kid.”

Masterman went unbeaten in the regular season and defeated 11-time defending champion Central, 4-1, in the Public League championship. The Dragons took down Bonner-Prendergast, 5-0, in the District 12 Class 2A title match but lost to District 1 champ Lower Moreland, 3-2, in the opening round of states. Nottingham beat Lower Moreland’s Joseph Kvint, 6-3, 6-4.

“They worked so hard,” said Tooke, who was a three-time Central League singles champion and an all-league basketball player during her days at Marple Newtown. “We were out there practicing in the snow. I’m so proud of them and honored to be a part of the Masterman boys’ tennis program.”

In 2017, Masterman lost to New Hope-Solebury in the first round of the state tournament.

Nottingham, who qualified for the PIAA state singles tournament for the third straight year, beat Thomas Jefferson’s Yash Maheshwari, Matthew Kozar of Windber Area, Nonpawitt Sirirungruangsarn of Wyomissing, and Westmont Hilltop’s Adam Kush to win the state title. Nottingham lost to Luke Ross of Sewickley Academy in the 2016 semifinals and fell to Carlynton’s Luke Phillips in the first round last year.

The junior did not drop a set throughout the tournament, but he needed every ounce of energy to come away with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kush in the championship match.

“We’ve always had really good matches,” Nottingham said. “He’s an incredibly smart player who makes you work for every point. I was pretty happy with the way I competed towards the end of both sets. It was a grind.”

The doubles team of senior Anthony Chaiditya and sophomore Kailash Natarajan made a nice run in states before losing to the Wyomissing tandem of Will Schreck and James Pottieger.

Juniors Andrea Ngjela, Nalin Khanna, Andrew Rizzo-Reidy, Brian Rizzo-Reidy, and Neil Obod; sophomore Eli Levi; and freshman Jacob Luterman rounded out the roster.

“Everyone on the team is pretty familiar with each other,” Nottingham said. “It’s been fun to watch the team really develop over the past two years.”

Chaiditya, who will be continuing his academic career at Temple, provided great senior leadership.

“Anthony did a great job leading the team and being a go-between me and the players,” said Tooke, who previously had stints as the women’s tennis coach at West Chester, Temple, and George Washington Universities.