Juniata’s Eck wins second straight District 6 Class AA tennis championship

ALTOONA – Isaac Eck continues to be a dominant force in District 6 Class AA tennis.

Eck repeated as District 6 Class AA singles champion by sweeping past Bishop Guilfoyle’s Jimmy Burke, 6-4, 6-1, Saturday morning at the Leopold Tennis Complex.

Eck, who has junior standing while playing for Juniata High School, has won District 6 championships three consecutive years. As a freshman, Eck was a member of the Class AA doubles championship team. He’s captured the singles titles the past two springs.

Burke jumped out to an early lead in the first set Saturday before Eck settled in and rallied for a 6-4 win. Eck also lost the first game in the second set, but won the next six games to wrap up the title.

“The style (Burke) plays is very difficult,” Eck said. “Everything he hits comes back with no pace, but he executed what he wanted to, so kudos to him because he played a great match.”

Eck swept through his Thursday competition and returned Saturday to win another championship.

“I was happy with how I competed this weekend,” Eck said. “My goal is to go a little farther in states this year.”

Eck plays a lot of USTA matches and says his serve has been his biggest weapon and his aggressiveness is the foundation of his game.

“I want to improve my defense so when I play bigger and stronger opponents I can be competitive,” Eck noted.

Juniata coach Alan Musselman has known Eck several years and thinks his future is unlimited.

“I first met Isaac when he was 12,” Musselman said. “In Mifflintown, we have the Juniata County Tennis Association and he’s been playing with adults since he was 12. He shows it a lot, too.

“He’s truly come along as a person and as a player.”

Musselman says Eck’s on-court skills are outstanding.

“He’s solid,” the coach said. “He has all the skill he needs. As he grows, he’s being coached well. I can no longer coach him at the higher level.”

Musselman says that Eck is a great teammate, too.

“He plays a big leadership role on our team,” Musselman noted. “Whether he’s training or coaching other players, he’s just a great kid He’s good enough that he can do anything he wants with this game.

“If he gets the opportunities, gets the right training and doesn’t have any injuries, the sky is the limit for him.”