Peters Township, Sewickley Academy defend WPIAL doubles titles
There's no substitute for experience, and Sarah Komer certainly has it, despite being just a sophomore.
As a defending WPIAL and PIAA gold medalist in doubles tennis, Komer put her skills and knowledge to use Friday with partner Abby Cummings and again won the WPIAL Class AAA doubles title at North Allegheny.
Komer and Cummings cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set and held off a late rally from Oakland Catholic's Nicole Cyterski and Megan Wasson, the tournament's top seed, to win the second set, 6-2, and seal the match.
“They're both really tough competitors, but I think we kept our energy up the entire time,” said Komer, who won last year's WPIAL and PIAA titles with Stephanie Smith, who decided not to play for the high school team this season.
Cummings, also a sophomore, stepped in as a perfect complement, with consistent baseline groundstrokes that allowed Komer to focus on her net play.
“Abby's a really good baseline player,” Komer said. “She sets me up well and gives me good opportunities.”
Cummings said Komer's experience and advice were crucial to the duo's run to the finals and will play an even bigger role at next month's state tournament.
“I think we help each other stay calm and focus on what we need to do to win,” Cummings said of their relationship on the court.
Sewickley Academy also defended its WPIAL doubles title in Class AA but with a new tandem.
One year after Logan Antil and Caroline Ross won the title, Sewickley Academy juniors Amy Cheng and Jappman Monga won a 6-2, 7-6 decision over South Park's Chelsea Carter and Sara Kaminsky. Cheng and Monga were exhibition players for the Panthers last season but have moved into starting roles this year.
“Being the champions last year, we felt the pressure (to defend the title), but that's why we worked really hard so we could live up to that expectation,” Cheng said.
The match was decided by a 7-5 tiebreaker in the second set.
“It was a stressful time for sure,” Monga said. “They have a really, really strong team. It was really competitive.”
All four teams advance to the PIAA doubles tournament, set for Nov. 2-3, at the Hershey Racquet Club in Hershey.
The Keystone Oaks pair of Emily Valley and Maura Gray also qualified for the PIAA tournament in Class AA with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Blackhawk's Juliana Lapek and Analise Zapadka.
North Allegheny's tandem of Kylie Isaacs and Maddy Adams defeated Mt. Lebanon's Jessie Warshaw and Annie Baich, 7-5, 6-3, in the Class AAA consolation, but only the top two Class AAA teams advance to the PIAA tournament.
Bill Hartlep is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7934.