Council Rock South tennis aces Mikkel Zinder and Alex Sterin aren’t difficult to find. If you see one, the other is in close proximity.
“We’ve always been pretty close,” Sterin said. “It’s a really good feeling to know that you have someone looking out for you.”
“It’s pretty much always been like this for us,” Zinder said. “This is who we are. We feel pretty good about it.”
And rightly so. Zinder and Sterin or Sterin and Zinder. It doesn’t matter whose name is first. They are winners. As tournament time fast approaches for districts and states, Council Rock South head tennis coach Eric Scholl has a delightful problem of picking which one of his juniors he’d like to lead the Golden Hawks.
“I told them in the beginning of the season that I was going to alternate them being No. 1 [singles],” Scholl said. “It really wasn’t much more than that, and so far it worked. They have yet to be beaten.”
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On Monday, Sterin was No. 1, and he beat Wissahickon’s Andy Wang, 6-1, 6-1. Not to be outdone, Zinder easily won his match against Noah Cylich, 6-2, 6-1. And for the 11th straight time, Council Rock South won again in team tennis.
“We’ve got it going on pretty good right now,” said Sterin, a right-hander with a wicked backhand. “He puts our name in, and we just go out and play. It doesn’t change too much for us until we get to states.”
The state tournament is a different beast. Last year, Zinder finished second to Sterin at the District One Class 3A singles tournament. Zinder placed third in the PIAA tournament; Sterin loses in the quarterfinals.
“This year, we want to go one, two in the state tournament,” said Zinder, who has a strong forehand. “That’s what’s on our minds. It doesn’t matter which one is first. We want to be there.”
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Sterin and Zinder are both members of the Northampton Tennis and Fitness Center. When they aren’t pounding the balls for Council Rock South, they can be found making a slam in Richboro.
“It’s just the way they are,” Scholl said. “Generally speaking if you look for one, you’re going to find the other somewhere close around.”
Both look to play tennis collegiately.
“I’d like to go to Stanford,” Zinder said. “I’ve look around and it appears to be the place or me. Now getting in there, well that’s another story but I like what I’ve seen.”
Sterin isn’t thinking about such a dramatic move.
“Somewhere around [North Carolina] is fine for me,” Sterin said. “We may break away, but we’ll remain close.”