Mars sweeps Thomas Jefferson in WPIAL Class AA boys tennis match
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Maybe it was the early start that hurt Thomas Jefferson when it took on Mars in the WPIAL Class AA boys team tennis quarterfinals.
It also could have been the fact the match was moved indoors to Club One in Monroeville instead of being played on the Jaguars' outdoor courts.
Second-seeded Thomas Jefferson fell behind quickly in both singles and doubles matches and soon capitulated, 5-0, to No. 7 Mars. All five matches ended in straight sets.
“I thought that we played, across the board, terrible first sets,” Thomas Jefferson coach Chuck Correll said. “It was almost like we were still in warmups and they jumped all over us. They are really good, and I knew coming in here that Mars wasn't a seventh seed and that they had been under-seeded.”
One of the more anticipated matches was in No. 1 singles, where Thomas Jefferson senior Jake Mascaro took on Mars freshman Josh Raymundo.
The two were destined to meet in the WPIAL Class AA singles quarterfinals. But Raymundo, who would have been the No. 1 seed in the draw, was forced to withdraw after an emergency appendectomy.
Instead of being the No. 8 seed and seeing Raymundo in the quarterfinals, Mascaro moved up to No. 7 and eventually pulled off three upsets in the tournament, finished second and earned a spot in the PIAA Class AA singles finals May 24-25 at Hershey Racquet Club.
In their meeting Tuesday, Raymundo rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 win to give Mars its first win of the match. If nothing else, it showed Mascaro the type of competition he will face when he heads to Hershey in a couple of weeks.
“He's probably the best in the WPIAL, and it gives me a glimpse of the best I will face and what to expect,” Mascaro said. “I know that I'll need to work on my return of service. My serve was on and I was in a lot of games that I was serving, but when he got his first one in it was hard for me to get going.”
Mascaro has been playing indoors as part of his training for the state tournament. The first time he had played on an indoor court was when he lost to Vincentian sophomore Derek Chen in the WPIAL singles finals at Lake View Racquet Club. But even the improvement in his game wasn't enough to overcome Raymundo's service game and solid ground strokes.
Playing a match like this will only help his training as he prepares for what lies ahead.
“At states, very few kids are going to be average players. Everyone's going to be good and that's what we have to look forward to,” Correll said.
Still, Correll and Mascaro would have liked the opportunity to make a trip to Hershey on consecutive weekends. Instead, Mars is one win away from qualifying for the PIAA Class AA team finals.
The Planets will play Vincentian on Wednesday in the semifinals. Even with a loss, they could still go to states with a win in the third-place consolation match.
After a preliminary round match Tuesday, the remaining state qualifiers teams will participate in the team championships May 17-18.
“I really thought that we were going to make it to the third round and anything goes,” Correll said. “But you could see it out there that they were going to get better as a team.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KBarnes_Trib.
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.
- Kittanning soccer snaps 33-game losing streak
- Turek a 50-year fixture as local coach
- Offense awakens to lead Steelers past Panthers
- Elizabeth Forward volleyball team keeps winning, despite new look
- Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority communities well on their way to completion of sewer projects
- Game changers: Turnover leads to elusive TD for Steelers
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo hopes to give team physical edge
- PA will deal online poker in 2017, financial analysis says
- Penguins forward Megna’s skill set might be perfect fit
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Inside the glass: Penguins’ Martin, Ehrhoff look comfortable together