Sports Town will review the 2011-12 school year during July. Today we are visiting the girls tennis season.
Sewickley Academy winning its first PIAA girls tennis team championship was the highlight of the girls tennis season among schools in the North Sports Town area.
Pine-Richland's Marlys Bridgham
The Panthers have long dominated WPIAL Class AA boys tennis and have become a WPIAL Class AA girls powerhouse in recent seasons. Sewickley Academy won the WPIAL team championship for the third time in four years but became the first WPIAL team to win the PIAA crown. The Panthers defeated Eastern Pennsylvania dynasties Harriton and Wyomissing in the semifinals and final, respectively, at the Hershey Racquet Club Oct. 29.
"Everything really came together well, and the team just got better and better as the seaosn went on," Sewickley Academy coach Whitney Snyder said. "That was evdidencd in Hershey.
"The goal was to win a state championship. The girls played well. To beat teams like
Harriton and Wyomissing and to beat them 4-0 and 5-0 back-to-back -- they have 11 state championships between them -- it doesn't get much better than that."
Sewickley Academy wasn't the only team from the area playing for a PIAA title in that venue on that day. Led by Alexa Miller, Rachel Diehl and Lindsay Cozen, WPIAL Class AAA runner-up Shady Side Academy played Peters Township again for the PIAA title, falling in both matches.
"We gave it our best shot," Indians co-chead coach Jeff Miller said.
Sewickley Academy's championship season wasn't limited to merely the team titles. Logan Antill and Caroline Ross swept the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA doubles gold medals. The Panthers' Eva Sung took PIAA third place, and Quaker Valley's Spencer Caravaggio also was a PIAA singles qualifier after taking third in the WPIAL tournament. Quaker Valley was a PIAA tournament qualifier after having coming in second to crosstown rival Sewickley Academy in the WPIAL championship match.
Pine-Richland's Taylor Perz was a PIAA Class AAA singles tournament semifinalist after not even winning her section tournament title (teammate Marlys Bridgham beat her in a show of the Rams' depth). North Allegheny won the Section 2-AAA team title, with Kylie Isaacs and Mikayla Becich taking the section doubles championship.