ShareThis Page
Tennis

Sewickley Academy, Quaker Valley tennis teams advance to playoffs

| Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, 3:06 p.m.
Emily Ward, a senior, returns a volley during Sewickley Academy girls tennis practice Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, at the courts at Nichols Field in Edgeworth.
Kristina Serafini | Trib Total Media
Emily Ward, a senior, returns a volley during Sewickley Academy girls tennis practice Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, at the courts at Nichols Field in Edgeworth.

The Sewickley Academy girls tennis team looks forward to winning its second WPIAL title in three seasons at the WPIAL Class AA team tournament that began Wednesday and ends next week.

The Panthers qualified by taking first place in Section 4-AA with an 8-0 record.

Quaker Valley, the fourth-place team in Section 2-AA, also advanced.

Seniors Emily Ward, Caroline Becker and McKayla Cox play singles for Sewickley Academy.

Sophomore Alina Mattson and senior Morgan Recker compete in first doubles, and sophomore Lydia Elste and junior Olivia McLeod or senior Ciara Donohue form the second doubles team.

“The girls are coming together nicely (and) getting better (in) each match,” Panthers coach Whitney Snyder said.

Ward, 17, who lives in Beaver, said the Panthers gained confidence by going undefeated in the section.

“The goal is to always win WPIALs,” she said. “We are going to focus on one match at a time and, hopefully, reach the finals again.”

The Panthers placed second to Beaver last season after donning the WPIAL crown in 2014. They have been WPIAL champions four times since 2008.

Becker, 17, of Sewickley, hopes to be a role model.

“I want our new players to feel the same excitement our returning players feel about going into playoffs,” she said.

Quaker Valley (5-3 in Section 2-AA) is rebuilding and was happy just to earn a playoff berth.

“Going into the tournament as fourth in our section will mean a really tough draw for us,” Quakers coach Christi Hays said. “But we are ready to give it all we have.”

Junior Zoe Bojalad, sophomore Sydney Schultz, junior Chloe Becotte-McMullen, senior Grace Merriman and junior Olivia Albert have been standouts, Hays said.

Merriman was undefeated in section singles play after moving from doubles halfway through the season.

Sophomore Anna McSweeney has been a pleasant surprise playing at No. 3 singles.

“This team has (clicked) from the start,” said Albert, 16, of Edgeworth. “We've been working hard since Day 1.”

“It is refreshing to be able to play with a group of motivated girls, and be able to have as much fun as we do along the way,” said Merriman, 17, of Sewickley.

Quaker Valley was third in the WPIAL and eliminated early from the PIAA playoffs last year.

Sewickley Academy was a PIAA semifinalist in 2015.

Sewickley Academy was scheduled to play Mt. Pleasant in the first round, and QV was to play at South Park.

With a victory, Sewickley Academy would play the Greensburg Central Catholic-Derry survivor Thursday in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

Quaker Valley would advance to play Indiana or Southmoreland with a win.

Beaver earned the top seed. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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.

click me