Sewickley Academy moves on after WPIAL runner-up finish
Sewickley Academy tennis coach Whitney Snyder didn't mince words after his squad's loss to Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AA team tennis final last week — it hurt.
“It is very hard because you have five seniors in the lineup,” Snyder said. “Those five seniors were around two years ago when we won the state championship so they have seen the highs of this team. It is sad that it is their time to graduate, and it didn't work out. I wish I could have done more for them.”
The Centurions defeated the Panthers, 3-2, to capture the team's first WPIAL title since 2000.
Michaela Kluska defeated WPIAL Class AA 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 at second singles.
Jordan Smithberger got the win in the third singles match, defeating 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 — the WPIAL Class AA doubles champs — 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.
“We're are very proud of our doubles teams,” Miggantz said. “The singles players gave it all we had, but Greensburg Central Catholic came out on top. Hopefully, we can do better next time.”
The Panthers had a short turnaround as the PIAA team tournament started earlier this week. The team had only a four-day layoff from competition.
“It is hard to lose this match,” Gohh said. “We were looking forward to it. But we are going to have to put it behind us and move on.”
It is Sewickley Academy's sixth straight appearance in the state tournament. Several of the players on this year's squad have had a taste of success — including a PIAA title win in 2011.
“They have been in this situation before and responded well,” Snyder said. “You just have to tip your cap after you play an extremely talented team.”
The Panthers started their trek in the PIAA tournament Monday against Windber Area. Results were unavailable at press time.
Quaker Valley, which lost to GCC in the semifinals, defeated Ellis School, 5-0, on Friday in the WPIAL Class AA consolation match and also qualified for the PIAA tournament. The Quakers were scheduled to face Mercyhurst Prep earlier this week in the PIAA first round.