St. Joseph tennis team sets lofty goals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
St. Joseph's boys tennis coach Joe Kujawski got excited when he described the crucial turn of events April 18, when the Spartans avenged their only Section 4-AA loss of the season.
In the teams' first meeting March 26, St. Joseph's No. 1 doubles squad of David Fioravanti and Joe Staniszewski dropped a three-set nail-biter, and the Spartans lost, 3-2.
In the rematch, Fioravanti and Staniszewski captured a two-set win, flipping the result to a 3-2 victory for the St. Joseph.
“That made the season perfect,” Kujawski said. “When we came back in that rematch and won, the guys were thrilled. They knew at least they would be section co-champs.”
Thanks to that performance and Burrell's win over Indiana later in the season, St. Joseph (13-1) ended up capturing sole possession of the Section 4-AA championship.
St. Joseph is one of four local teams to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs, which start Monday. The others are Class AA Burrell and Class AAA Fox Chapel and Kiski Area.
But the Spartans are the only section champions in the foursome.
The win over Indiana still resonates with St. Joseph.
“When Joe and David lost the first time around, that was a pretty crushing loss,” said senior Luke Thimons, No. 2 singles player and team captain. “They really wanted to win that. The close second match was sitting on their shoulders. That was a huge win for us. It helped team morale.”
At the beginning of the season, Kujawski believed his experienced team had a chance to take a serious shot at the section title.
St. Joseph usually starts six seniors and one junior.
The St. Joseph lineup features senior Joe Albaugh at No. 1 singles, Thimons at No. 2 singles, and junior Matt Rubright at No. 3 singles, seniors Fioravanti and Staniszewski at No. 1 doubles, and seniors Max Praniewicz and Aaron Stein at No. 2 doubles.
Despite being the youngest starter, Rubright has produced a 14-0 record in team competition.
At 6-foot-5, Staniszewski stands out as the tallest player on the team — and probably in the section.
He and Praniewicz didn't play last year but rejoined the St. Joseph tennis team this spring.
Kujawski said he's proud his team doesn't rely on a superstar or two but is balanced throughout the lineup.
He added that having many seniors is a big boost.
“With a senior-laden team, you can do some things,” Kujawski said.
“They do things differently from freshmen, sophomores and even juniors. I told them they'd do OK. They did better than OK.”
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.
- Pitt overcomes adversity, Virginia to improve to 4-1
- Penn State sheds conservative playcalling in rout of Indiana
- Man jumps from Liberty Bridge, dies
- Pittsburgh firefighters rescue person from Point Breeze house fire
- Touchstone program forges Frazier grad’s interest in art
- Energy efficiency goes mainstream with help of regulations, demand
- Safety of credit cards up to banks
- Pirates say goodbye to veteran leaders Burnett, Ramirez
- Tours of Nemacolin Castle in Brownsville offer history, ghost stories
- Zombie Stomp to take over streets of Finleyville
- Mold transmissions not all same, CDC finds in report about UPMC hospitals