Another Raymundo makes racket on court for Mars tennis
By reaching the Class AA final last week, Mars sophomore Josh Raymundo became the second member of his family to play for a WPIAL boys tennis singles title in 26 years.
His uncle, Jose Raymundo, took first place as a senior at Seneca Valley in 1989.
A WPIAL semifinalist as a senior in 1986, Josh's father, Raul, also was a standout for Seneca Valley.
“I've (met) people who know them,” said Josh Raymundo, 16. “Hearing about their success makes me want to try my best.”
Top-seeded Luke Ross of Sewickley Academy beat the youngest Raymundo in the WPIAL Class AA championship match, 7-6 (7-0), 6-0, on Tuesday. It was the second time in two weeks the two met.
Ross, a freshman, also beat Raymundo, the defending champion, in the Section 3-AA final on March 31.
Raymundo came back to defeat Ross, 6-3, 6-3, in a team dual match on Wednesday.
By finishing in the top three in the WPIAL, Raymundo qualified for the PIAA tournament, set for May 23 and 24 at the Hershey Racquet Club.
Raymundo looks forward to competing as a singles player. Last year, he and Aaron Gruber, the WPIAL runners-up, reached the state quarterfinals in doubles.
An assistant head tennis pro at the Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford, Raul Raymundo, 46, plays against his son about once a week.
Jose Raymundo, 42, of Wexford, also practices with his nephew regularly.
“I see a lot of myself in him,” said Jose, who works in commercial real estate management. “He has the same competitiveness and (is) left-handed. He gets fired up and doesn't want to lose.”
Raul said his son, a former baseball player, has few weaknesses.
“He has a lefty serve, which gives him an advantage,” Raul said. “He's physically fit and has quickness and amazing power. He's good at volleying — better than I was.”
Mars coach Chris Knauff said the youngest Raymundo is advanced for a player his age.
“He played beyond his years last year and has done an even better job this year,” said Knauff, who admires Raymundo's aggressiveness. “He's good at the net, a good server and has a good backhand.”
Like his uncle (Notre Dame) and father (Mercyhurst), the youngest Raymundo hopes to continue his career in college. He is one of three siblings to play for Mars. Erika, 18, a senior, was the top singles player for the Planets' girls team last fall. Younger brother Noah, 14, has competed in first doubles as a freshman on the boys squad this spring.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.