Springdale tennis squad savors long-awaited new courts
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For nearly two decades, Springdale's tennis players practiced on less-than-pristine courts and went on the road — sometimes resulting in round trips of more than two hours — for all matches.
Before this week, the Dynamos played their last home match in 1993.
But Allegheny Valley School District and Cheswick Borough have served up a new era in tennis for the Dynamos and local recreational players by renovating the courts located off campus on McLean Avenue.
Now, the facility, just a short stroll from the Allegheny River, is one of the more picturesque in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
The school district spent $307,000 to build three new courts, which replaced two aging surfaces, as well as fencing, benches, tables and an electrical outlet to supply power for a ball machine.
Springdale's girls tennis team hosted its first Section 3-AA match Friday and was edged by Highlands, 3-2.
Beforehand, school district and borough officials hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Having this for the community means more people will play and practice,” said junior Rebecca Kern, who plays No. 2 singles. “I think our teams will grow in the future because of it.”
This year, there are 12 players on Springdale's girls team, which started in 2007. Previously, girls played for the Dynamos' boys team in the spring. The small school has had a boys program since 1964.
The opening of Springdale's home court means the number of road trips for section matches were cut in half.
Teams play each of the other schools in their section twice.
“No more two trips to places such as West Shamokin and Indiana,” Springdale athletic director Ray Davis said. “At times, the girls were spending four of five days a week on the road. That's rough on them, considering their school work.”
Because the WPIAL realigns every two years, West Shamokin and Indiana aren't in the same section as Springdale this season.
But it's hard to tell which schools might be on the Dynamos' schedule and what travel could be involved in future years.
The addition of a third court was a major key in obtaining home dates for Springdale. Each team competition consists of three singles and two doubles matches. With only two courts, the last match probably wouldn't start until at least 6:30 p.m.
When the high school teams aren't practicing or playing, an additional court also gives recreational players a better chance to find an open spot.
“This benefits the school and residents in Cheswick,” Cheswick councilwoman Vickie Roolf said. “Before. if you hit the ball, you'd be lucky if it got across the net or it didn't go sideways.”
The previous courts were marred by noticeable rises and dips. The new courts, in addition to being flat and crack-free, feature more room between the baseline and surrounding fence.
Springdale girls tennis coach Bob Ochsenhirt recently walked by himself across the courts one morning while thinking about the people who had made the long-awaited renovations a reality and what the new facility means to local players.
“It sends chills through my body,” Ochsenhirt said.
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-224-2696.
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.
- Exhibits celebrate Pittsburgh artist Haskell’s works
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Duquesne drops wild playoff game to William & Mary
- Drones hover at top of holiday wish lists
- Newsmaker: Tyra Oliver
- Family collecting donations for Salem man seriously injured in deer stand fall
- As historic breakup nears, Alcoa works to redefine its ‘advantage’
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Michigan State humbles Penn State in finale
- Truth be told