Fox Chapel freshmen seek doubles title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Laurel Shymansky and Lacey Cohen have been playing tennis together since grade school.
Thing is, that wasn't too long ago.
The rising players from Fox Chapel are only freshmen, but they are playing with the vigor and smarts of upperclassmen.
The duo will begin their chase for a WPIAL Class AAA doubles title starting at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Norwin. They won the Section 3-AAA title a week ago, blanking Shady Side Academy's Emma Perelman and Lindsey Miller, 6-0, 6-0, in the final.
Two weeks earlier, they played each other for the Section 3-AAA singles title. Shymansky won, 6-3, 6-0.
“We're so used to playing each other, that was just another match,” Shymansky said.
Said Cohen: “We're friends on and off the court. It was tough being opponents like that.”
It isn't unusual for Fox Chapel to have success in tennis; it's practically expected. But for players at such a young age to win this early, that has to be somewhat of a surprise, right?
“Their success is no surprise,” Fox Chapel coach Alex Slezak said. “They have put in the hours training for years and are seeing the fruits of their labor. Wins such as the section singles and doubles championship build lasting confidence.”
Slezak knows this will be a learning year for Shymansky and Cohen, but expectations will grow.
“They have established themselves as contenders in the WPIAL,” Slezak said. “In the years ahead, they are going to be favorites in their matches. Learning to deal with the burden of pressure and winning is critical to their continued development. Next year I plan on talking a lot to them both about how pressure is a privilege, meaning they can only play with this pressure because they have prepared properly with their training.”
Shymansky said jumping out to early leads is a key in tournament play. That, and not relenting.
“We have to be more aggressive at the net,” she said. “The first two rounds are pro sets to 10. We have to stay aggressive.”
Cohen said the most formidable duos in the tournament are Kylie Issacs and Maddie Adams of North Allegheny, Nicole Cyterski and Megan Wasson of Oakland Catholic and Sarah Komer and Abby Cummings of Peters Township.
“There are a lot of very good teams,” Cohen said. “If we play our game and establish ourselves as big hitters at the net, hopefully we can come out on top.”
Shymansky and Cohen open against Alyza Madson and Charlotte Madson of Upper St. Clair.
The final and consolation final will be 2 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny. The top three teams advance to the PIAA championships Nov. 2-3 at Hershey Racquet Club.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- The gathering storm: An IRS defeat
- Pittsburgh man taken for wild ride on Route 28
- Rangers clip Penguins, take 2-1 series lead
- Blue Bell Creameries issues recall of all products
- Scoring struggles linger for Penguins 2nd line
- Cubs’ rookie third baseman Bryant helps send Pirates to defeat
- Brentwood Borough School Board approves major cutbacks
- Steelers receiver Brown skipping voluntary offseason workouts
- Pope accepts resignation of U.S. bishop who failed to report abuse
- Feud escalates between Westmoreland commissioner, controller