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High School Sports

Freshman impresses with section title win

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2001

Kellie Schmitt captured her first WPIAL Section 4-AAA singles title Tuesday.

The Bethel Park freshman defeated Kristen Edgar of Peters Township, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, at Mt. Lebanon High School. Schmitt and Edgar qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA singles championships Monday and Tuesday at North Park.

Amanda El-Tobgy of Upper St. Clair also advanced to the WPIAL singles tournament. She defeated teammate Shayna Miller, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the consolation match.

Edgar had beaten Schmitt in three sets when they played earlier this season.

'It helped that I had played her before,' Schmitt said. 'I knew how to play her. She is tough because she hits a lot of balls back. I was thinking in the third set that she would turn it on.'

It was Schmitt who turned up her game in that third set.

By angling her volleys close to the net, Schmitt forced Edgar to make mistakes.'

An opponent has to guess when it's coming.

'Every time I thought she would hit it one way, she hit it the other way,' Edgar said. 'I had a feeling in the third set that the momentum would go one way. I was trying to fight it but I missed shots at crucial times. But I am still excited about going to WPIALs.'

So is Schmitt.

'This is cool,' Schmitt said. 'I don't have any pressure going into the WPIAL championships. I plan to just go out and play my game.'

Peters Township coach Augie Garofola said Edgar wasn't moving well, especially in the third set. She also wasn't able to get Schmitt off-balance. Because of that, Schmitt would come to the net and hit the angled volley.

Schmitt's net game has been her strength this season, Bethel Park tennis coach Doug Addington said. The freshman began playing tennis when she was 6 years old and is No. 6 in the Middle States 14-and-under rankings.

'Tennis is a mix of finesse, technique, moving and thinking,' Addington said. 'Kellie has all those skills, and as she gets bigger she will get stronger.'

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