Penn-Trafford boys tennis prepares for playoff match
The Penn-Trafford boys tennis team came up just short in its bid for a fourth straight section championship, but the Warriors still have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.
With a chance to clinch a share of the section title, Penn-Trafford (11-3) fell, 4-1, to Franklin Regional last Thursday. Two of the matches the Warriors lost came down to a deciding third set, which Franklin Regional won. Latrobe won the other share of the section championship, while Penn-Trafford finished in third place.
“It's disappointing, but it's still good to go to the playoffs again,” said Tim Seaman, the Warriors' No. 2 singles player. “We've had a good season, but a couple tough losses.”
As the third place team in Section 1-AAA, Penn-Trafford still advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. The Warriors will travel to play Pine-Richland on Thursday afternoon, The Rams eliminated Penn-Trafford, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs last season.
“I think it's going to be a little bit harder because last year we had a home match and it was a little bit easier on us,” Seaman said. “But it's going to be a tough match no matter what.”
Penn-Trafford will benefit some from playoff experience, as some of the Warriors' starters played in the 2013 postseason.
A competitive section season could also help the Warriors. Penn-Trafford split four matches against fellow playoff teams Latrobe and Franklin Regional. A 3-2 victory over Latrobe gave the Warriors a chance to win the section again, but Franklin Regional kept that from happening.
“They've all been really tight matches — 3-2 (on) one side or the other,” Seaman said. “I guess (Franklin Regional) just got the better side of it this time.”
While Penn-Trafford didn't win the section team title, Seaman and senior Cullen Price did combine to win the section doubles title last week. They defeated teammates Anthony Iovino and Evan Astley in the semifinals before beating Franklin Regional's Rochan Ramesh and Rohan Hattangady in three sets in the championship match.
Iovino and Astley lost in the consolation match, just missing a chance to advance to the WPIAL doubles tournament.
“It was a great tournament,” Seaman said. “We started off not playing that great because we've never played doubles together before. But then towards the end, we had a really good match against Franklin Regional. ... It was a really tight match. It was pretty even on both sides.”
Price and Seaman competed at the WPIAL doubles on Monday, losing 10-5 in the first round to Henry Cohen and Derek Chen of Shady Side Academy.