Shady Side duo wins doubles championship
Of the two WPIAL doubles champions crowned Monday at North Allegheny one title match lasted three sets and two hours while the other final match didn't even include one serve.
In Class AAA, the doubles duo of Matt McKeown and Jay Giles of Shady Side Academy defeated Mt. Lebanon's Derek Satterfield and Brad Alcorn in three sets, 1-6, 6-1,6-2. The Class AA champion Sewickley Academy team of Eric Goldfarb and Evan Stiegel won by default because Quaker Valley's Mike Burger has a left ankle injury, so he and Rick Houghton weren't able to compete.
In the Class AAA consolation final, Upper St. Clair's Jeff Rickel and Evan Reese defeated John Moyer and Justin Ferraccio of Shady Side Academy, 6-3, 6-3.
The South Park duo of Phil Gibson and Bryan McAnulty won the Class AA consolation final over Brownsville's Neil Chafin and Josh Seelye, 6-1, 6-4.
The top three doubles teams in each class advance to the PIAA championships Friday and Saturday at Penn State's Sarni Tennis Center.
Burger, a senior, should be ready by then. He was injured this past weekend in the PIAA Class AA team championships in Williamsport.
"The orthopedist said he can play this weekend," said Quaker Valley coach Ed Perry, whose squad won the PIAA Class AA 2003 team championship. "He is a senior, and I wanted him to be able to play in the state championship. He has worked hard for us for four years. He deserves to play. So we took the silver (medal) and let him rest. I thought that was the right thing to do. He won't do much until Thursday and then he'll practice the night before the state tournament. I think he will be ready."
So will McKeown and Giles.
The two finished third in the WPIAL doubles competition last year which gave them a tougher draw in the PIAA tournament. They should have a little easier time of it this year.
"We had to play the defending champion in the first round," McKeown said. "They went on to win the state title again. I think we are playing with a lot of confidence this year. We got behind in the first set (yesterday) but we used losing that first set to motivate us to win the next two."
Giles said after losing the first set he and McKeown knew they were in a now or never situation if they were to win the title. They also didn't have much to lose since they had won the PIAA Class AAA team title this past weekend and the WPIAL team title earlier this month.
"This is just icing on the cake," Giles said. "Our goal was to win the state team championship so that everyone on the team could be a part of that."
Rickel said the difference in his and Reese's match was neither let up on any point. They played hard and went after every ball. Rickel added the two will surprise some people in State College if they continue to play as they did in the WPIAL tournament.
"We have been playing tennis all year, even though we haven't played a lot of double together, so we have a chance to do well at states," Reese said. "We practice a lot with older players, too, which makes our games better."
Gibson and McAnulty pretty much controlled their match the entire time. McAnulty said he and Gibson hope to continue that trend in State College.
"We played more aggressively this year," Gibson said. "We don't play high school doubles together during the season but we have played tournaments as a doubles team. I think we can play well if we stay aggressive."