WPIAL-bound Springdale duo makes history

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Springdale's girls tennis team joined the WPIAL in 2007 but played all of its matches on the road before finally receiving a home court suitable for competition against other schools this season.

After that, it didn't take long for the Dynamos to bring home their first championship.

Springdale juniors Margo Corsetti and Rebecca Kern made team history when they claimed the Section 3-AA doubles title last week and earned a trip to the WPIAL Class AA tournament, set for Thursday and Friday.

“It's definitely cool to be a part of this,” Corsetti said. “Just being a part of this whole team is fun. Having the title, hopefully this gets more people interested in tennis and more people join the team in the future.”

Springdale has about a dozen players — a decent turnout for a small school — to fill seven starting spots. Dynamos coach Bob Ochsenhirt believes winning a championship will create even more interest among girls in the Allegheny Valley School District.

“We have younger players who look up to Becca and Margo,” Ochsenhirt said. “We're hoping with the younger kids, this will help light the fire. We're talking about the kids moving up from seventh and eighth grade and even grade school.”

Kern thinks the chemistry she and Corsetti have developed on and off the court has been the key to their success. During team matches, Corsetti and Kern play No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively. However, they teamed for section doubles competition last year and lost in the quarterfinals, 10-7.

Corsetti possesses a powerful forehand, Kern produces consistent groundstrokes, and both are patient and communicate well, Ochsenhirt said.

“Margo and I work well together as a team,” Kern said. “We're good friends. We don't get mad at each other. If something goes wrong, we just keep going. It's nice to have somebody who communicates well.”

The opening of Springdale's refurbished tennis courts also helped, Corsetti said. The facility, located off campus in Cheswick, now features three courts. Before this season, the facility had only two beat-up surfaces and was used only for practices.

“With more courts, it's helped us get more doubles practice,” Corsetti said.

In 2010, Corsetti and her older sister, Mimi, placed third in section doubles and qualified for WPIALs. Mimi is a freshman at Penn State and plays for recreation.

Earlier this season, Corsetti took third in section singles but lost in the first round at the WPIAL championships.

Corsetti and Kern could make more team history this week. The top three finishers in the WPIAL Class AA tournament advance to the state championships, which will be held Nov. 2-3 in Hershey. In Class AAA, the top two WPIAL doubles teams move on to states.

The Springdale duo will try to stay focused and enjoy the moment.

“We're just living it as it comes,” Kern said.

Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pkogut@tribweb.com or 724-224-2696.

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