Greensburg Central Catholic tops Sewickley Academy to win WPIAL tennis title
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Greensburg Central Catholic's Michaela Kluska went into the WPIAL Class AA team tennis championship match feeling a bit under the weather.
She got the perfect cure as the Centurions defeated Sewickley Academy, 3-2, to capture the program's first WPIAL title since 2000.
“I woke up today with a fever,” the freshman said. “I am still not feeling well. But the good thing is I usually play better when I am sick. It kind of worked out.”
Michaela Kluska defeated WPIAL singles champion Samantha Gohh, 6-1, 6-2, in first singles. Her older sister, Alyvia, was a 6-1, 7-6 winner over Sydney Miggantz in the deciding match.
“I was just focused on everything on the court,” said Alyvia, a sophomore. “I didn't want to look up because I knew I would put pressure on myself.”
Jordan Smithberger defeated Lauren Ritz, 6-2, 6-1, as Greensburg Central Catholic swept singles play. The Panthers dominated the doubles matches as Amy Cheng and Jappmann Monga defeated Kate Bryan and Eryka Verenna, 6-0, 6-0, and Sydney Joseph and Riley Roberts defeated Mary Taormina and Alexis Vittone, 6-1, 6-0.
“I thought if we had any chance of winning we would have to sweep the singles,” Greensburg Central Catholic coach Shawn Vimislicky said. “We have had illness problems in doubles, especially our second doubles, toward the end of the season. We knew it would be close and could go either way.”
It is the second straight season Sewickley Academy was runner-up after winning the WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2011.
“It is really hard because we have five seniors in the lineup who were around two years ago when we won the state championship,” Sewickley Academy coach Whitney Snyder said. “They have been in this situation before and responded well. You just have to tip your cap after you play an extremely talented team.”
Both teams advance to the PIAA tournament, along with the winner Friday's consolation match between Quaker Valley and Ellis.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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