HANOVER -- Central seniors Jennifer Learmonth and Maggie Golden have become a dynamic duo on the tennis courts.

But the story of how the two best friends found one another started on a very different venue.

It was actually soccer that provided the chance for the two to get acquainted back when they were in fifth grade. The fact that they were on different teams -- Learmonth went to Sinking Spring while Golden went to North Hills -- didn't stop them from forming a bond that has continued to get stronger as the years passed.

That bond produced a York-Adams League Class AAA Doubles Championship a year ago for the duo, and they successfully defended that crown Wednesday afternoon at South Western High School.


Learmonth, who won the Class AAA singles title Tuesday, and Golden didn't drop a single game all day as they defeated Liz Wagner and Hannah Wolf of Susquehannock in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0, before handling teammates Emily Kuhn and Renee Wilson in the finals, 6-0, 6-0.

In Class AA, York Catholic sisters Anna and Ava Spoden bested Suburban's No. 2 team of Stephanie Seabra and Daniela Delgado in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-1, before defeating Suburban's No. 1 team and second-seeded Katie Woodbury and Amanda Blyth in the finals, 6-2, 6-3.

The chance to play
against teammates was a unique experience for the Panther tandems, who rarely got to face off against one another in practices.

"We do a lot of drills at practices," Learmonth said. "It's fun playing them in doubles, because most of the team is on the court and we get to have fun with each other."

It was also a lot of fun for the Spoden sisters. Two days after Anna beat her older sibling, Ava, for the AA singles title, the two teamed up to capture the doubles title. It marked the third crown for Ava, who has now teamed up with three different partners in claiming each of her doubles' crowns.

"The doubles title also means a lot to me," Ava said.

Ava Spoden
Ava Spoden
"I was hoping to win both (the singles and doubles), but I'll take what I can. It was a good experience to be able to play with my sister this year."

The combination of the left-handed Anna and the right-handed Ava proved to be a daunting challenge for the Spodens' foes. The sisters were able to establish a rhythm with their forehands.

"We both get to play to our power forehand side," Ava said. "It was helpful that we were both able to play to our strengths."

For Anna, who's just a freshman, playing with her older sister was not only fun, but also a good learning experience.

"If I make a mistake or miss my serves, she sometimes tells me what I can do," Anna said. "Or she kind of knows more strategy.

Anna Spoden
Anna Spoden
She'll say that we should hit more down the line next time and she just helps me kind of figure out what we're going to do next."

The duo of Natalie Greenholt and Alli Meyer captured the Class AAA third-place match by besting Wagner and Wolfe, 6-3, 6-4. The Catholic duo of Sarah Wargo and Erin Holberg took the Class AA third-place match by defeating Seabra and Delgado, 6-0, 6-2.

-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.