North Allegheny girls tennis team wins 2nd PIAA title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
HERSHEY — Ask North Allegheny girls tennis coach Michelle Weniger how her young team developed so quickly this year, and she looks exasperated and laughs before answering.
She points to how well freshman sisters Anna and Tina Li played throughout the year — they were her Nos. 2 and 3 singles players — but also how they learned to become strong members of the team.
Their development helped the Tigers to an undefeated season that ended with a second PIAA Class AAA state title Saturday, when they beat Methacton, 3-2, at Hershey Racquet Club. The win came despite starting five freshmen or sophomores and having just two seniors on their 10-girl roster.
“I guess some of the growing pains with high school tennis is packed in a short of amount of time,” Weniger said. “There are three or four matches a week. We're lucky if we have a practice. Young girls have to adjust to this fast schedule. You have to remember you're coaching 14-year-olds.”
The Tigers (25-0) earned their first two points against Methacton from doubles. Their No. 1 doubles team of Tristyn Maalouf and Jenn Hofmann cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory. Sydney Boyd and Catherine Zhang combined for 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 2.
Tina Li followed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory to clinch the Tigers' first state title since 2008. They beat West Chester Henderson (17-5) in the semifinals 4-1.
“It means a lot because it was a long season,” Tigers senior Maddy Adams said. “All the freshmen and all the other players are mature. It never felt like I was with a bunch of younger people.”
Sewickley Academy falls in semis
Sewickley Academy's season ended with a 4-1 loss to Mercyhurst Prep in the PIAA Class AA girls tennis semifinals. The Panthers (17-6) won just four games in their first sets against Mercyhurst, which finished 20-0 after winning its second straight state title.
“I think Mercyhurst Prep is the best team in Pennsylvania,” Panthers coach Whitney Snyder said. “I think we dug a hole in many of our matches early, and it was hard to climb out of it.”
Daniel Paulling is a freelance writer.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.