Sewickley Academy teammates battle in WPIAL singles final
By Dave Mackall
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Even before the WPIAL boys tennis championships were completed, Sewickley Academy knew it would be sending a pair of singles players to the PIAA tournament.
It just wasn't clear who would be going in as a winner.
Turns out both can claim that description, at least in some form, after Colin Kaye defeated teammate Grayson Geller, 6-4, 6-4, on Friday at North Allegheny High School to win the WPIAL Class AA singles final.
“It's good for the school. Both of them love playing for Sewickley Academy,” coach Whitney Snyder said.
They'll be joined at the state singles tournament — May 25 and 26 at Hershey Racquet Club — by the Class AA consolation final winner, Brad Cisek, of Hampton, who beat Bentworth's Matt Lynch, 6-1, 6-4.
In Class AAA, defending-champion Will Nesbitt, of Butler, defeated Vivek Nimgaonkar, of Shady Side Academy, 6-3, 6-4, in a rematch of a 2011 semifinal. Those two already had qualified for the state tournament, claiming both available slots in Class AAA.
The scheduled Class AAA consolation final was canceled, when North Allegheny's Kevin Goth forfeited the match to Adam Blasinski, of Central Catholic, because of back pain.
Kaye and Geller battled unseasonably warm conditions in their two-set match and came away drenched in sweat and doing their best to rehydrate.
“We knew what to expect, but neither of us could've anticipated all the double faults,” Geller said. “No matter what the conditions, it's a battle between us every time.”
Kaye, tugging on the bill of his cap to shield his eyes from the sun's glare, said he was fortunate enough to prevail because he has been playing very well lately.
“Both of us know each other's game pretty well,” he said. “I wouldn't say I'm the best player. I'd say I played the best the last few days. But on any given day, he could win it, too.”
After taking the first set, Kaye pulled away for a 4-1 lead in the second set before holding off his friend and teammate, Geller, to close out the title match.
The outcome, though not necessarily unexpected, had Kaye shaking his head.
“I'm definitely surprised,” he said. “Coming into the year, I thought I had a chance to contend, but there are a lot of good kids in the WPIAL. But there's really no superstars.”
Grayson said playing against Kaye in practice prepared him to get to this point. “I get my toughest matches from him,” Grayson said.
Nesbitt followed up his 2011 three-set semifinals win over Nimgaonkar with an efficient, straight-set win this time in the final. He, too, complained of the numerous unforced errors on the sweltering surface.
“I'm lucky,” Nesbitt said. “He played well.”
It marked the second consecutive year Nesbitt has won a WPIAL championship after failing to win a section title.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-5617.
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