Shady Side Academy boys tennis team earns second consecutive WPIAL crown
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Shady Side Academy boys tennis dynasty rolled on last week as the Indians defeated North Allegheny, 5-0, at Pine-Richland High School on Thursday to claim the WPIAL title.
“This is what the team has been working for all season long,” SSA coach Tom Mercer said.
It was the second straight WPIAL crown for the Indians and their third in four years.
“The team takes pride in their accomplishments,” Mercer said. “We've continued to be successful despite losing some key players to graduation every year. There is no selfishness on this team and it's a cohesive unit that puts in a lot of hard work to remain at the top.”
The Indians won handily, despite dropping the first set at No. 1 doubles, No. 2 doubles and No. 1 singles.
Alok Nimgaonkar fell to NA's Kevin Goth by 6-0 in the first set before regrouping to claim an 0-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
At no. 2 singles, Eric Grubbs breezed to a 6-1, 6-3 win, while Cooper Kann prevailed at No. 3 singles by 6-1, 6-0 over Andrew Xu.
Nimgaonkar wasn't ready to hit the panic button after his first set loss.
“Kevin played very well the first set,” he said. “He's a very good player. I completely changed the way I was playing after the first set and went to more of a serve and volley game and it worked.”
He acknowledged that the team's 5-0 win was closer than it looks.
“Along with my match, our doubles teams had to come back, too,” he said. “The guys rallied, though. We're a match-tested team and we kept our composure.”
At No. 1 doubles, Chris Grubbs and Michael Kann bounced back from a 3-6 first set loss to beat Tomas Monti and Eric Huang by 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
At No. 2 doubles, Henry Cohen and Naveen Jain defeated Jared Isaacs and Connor Goodman by 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to complete the sweep.
“It feels great to win the WPIAL title,” Chris Grubbs said. “This was one of our goals at the beginning of the year. If the team plays like this at states, we will be tough to beat. Everybody was at the top of their game against North Allegheny.”
The Indians began PIAA play this week and Nimgaonkar felt confident about the team's chances.
“We should be competitive,” he said. We're experienced and we've all been playing well. There are some tough teams in the draw. Lower Merion and Conestoga have some good players. Conestoga beat us in the finals last year and, like us, they have a lot of players back. That should be an interesting match if we get the opportunity.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Fattah indicted in racketeering case
- Patriots QB Brady, owner Kraft lash out at NFL
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- Plum High School teacher held for court on charges of intimidation
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
- Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
- Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
- 5 face trial in beating of black man in Pittsburgh
- Driver accused of crashing head-on into Ligonier officer’s SUV waives right to preliminary hearing
- Butler County motorist dies in accident with tractor
- Pitt student from China pleads guilty to role in international test fraud scheme