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Peters Township defends WPIAL team tennis title

| Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, 8:02 p.m.

Peters Township and Shady Side Academy have owned the WPIAL Class AAA girls tennis team championship the past six seasons.

Peters won it in 2009 and 2011 while Shady Side Academy took the title from 2006 to 2008 and again in 2010.

The two tennis powers met again Thursday with the title on the line, and Peters Township kept its crown with a 5-0 victory at The Club Sport and Health in Monroeville.

“I think this one was just as exciting as last year,” said Peters sophomore Abby Cummings, who won, 6-1, 6-1, over Shady Side Academy junior Liza Plakseychuk at No. 3 singles.

“It was a big goal of ours to prove that we still are the best in the WPIAL. I think we were able to do that.”

Peters Township's Sarah Komer, who was a WPIAL doubles champion with Cummings, defeated Emma Perelman at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-0, and Chloe Grzyb won a three-set match over Lindsay Miller, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 2 singles.

The Peters Township tandem of Vida Komer and Jen Holcombe earned a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Anisa Khalouf and Maddy Mordoh, and Megan Hixon and Morgan Parisi tallied a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) decision over Amanda Murphy and Danielle Perelman (SSA), 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).

Peters Township and Shady Side Academy advanced to the finals with 3-2 victories over Mt. Lebanon and North Allegheny, respectively, in the semifinals on Wednesday.

What made both teams' run to the finals impressive was their limited varsity experience. The Indians' seven-player lineup consists of one senior, four sophomores and two freshmen while Shady Side Academy has only two seniors and a pair of freshmen, who play at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.

“I only have three returning starters from last year, and Shady Side didn't have many returning starters,” Peters Township head coach Brandt Bowman said.

“We just have girls come up through the pipeline who want to compete. Our strength has always been our depth.”

Both Peters Township and Shady Side Academy are 18-1 and will begin PIAA tournament play Tuesday. Shady Side Academy will play the City League champion at a site and time to be determined. Peters Township will take on the District 10 champion also at a site and time to be determined.

The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be next Friday and Saturday at the Hershey Racquet Club.

Peters Township will be gunning for a second straight PIAA title and third in four years. Shady Side Academy won the state championship in 2010.

“Only two Triple-A schools get to go to the state tournament, so it's always a high honor,” Shady Side Academy coach Jeff Miller said. “Hopefully, we will see (Peters Township) again at states.”

Michael Love is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mlove@tribweb.com or 412-388-5825.

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