Keith Barnes profiles the Sewickley Academy girls tennis team.
(Photo: Sewickley Academy sophomore Emily Ward won her No. 2 singles match in the WPIAL Class AA girls team tennis championships. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)
"There was a certain level of consternation when the Sewickley Academy girls' tennis team took the court at The Club in Monroeville for the WPIAL Class AA team final last Thursday.
After all, the top-seeded Panthers were pushed to the brink of elimination in the semifinals by defending champion Greensburg Central Catholic and they were staring at an upstart sixth-ranked Indiana team that had already knocked off third-seeded South Park and No. 2 Beaver in their previous two rounds.
Sewickley Academy had also had its problems coming up with wins in the finals. Despite qualifying for the finals each of the previous six years, the team had won three times and had taken home silver each of the previous two seasons.
"When you start losing, I think it commands the girls' attention more and this happened to be a deep team and it took a long time to come together in terms of positioning," Sewickley Academy coach Whitney Snyder said. "But these girls had impressive wins over Triple-A teams such as Peters Township and Fox Chapel. So when you see that, you think, 'OK, this is good.'""