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Tennis: Chen settles in at No. 2 for Shady Side

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

 

Derek Chen won a WPIAL Class AA championship at Vincentian last season.

But for his junior season, Chen transferred to Shady Side Academy and is now playing No. 2 singles for the two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA team champions.

“His addition has helped; he’s definitely added to the team,” Shady Side Academy coach Tom Mercer said of Chen. “But it made my job a little more difficult since I have eight players capable of starting for this team now.”

The Indians returned seven of their top eight players from last season, losing only No. 1 singles player Alok Nimgaonkar.

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Boys Tennis: Shady Side Academy a WPIAL threat

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles the Shady Side Academy boys tennis team.

"Shady Side Academy has won three of the past four WPIAL Class AAA boys tennis team championships, and has qualified for the PIAA tournament in six of the past seven years.

So when Indians' coach Tom Mercer says this season's team is his deepest yet, that's quite the statement.

"This is our deepest team for sure," Mercer said. "I've never had a player who started the [previous] year who I think didn't lose a match who isn't [starting] this year. I would say we have the best eighth player in the state."

Mercer was referring to junior Naveen Jain, who played No. 2 doubles as a sophomore for the Indians last season. But spots in the seven-man starting lineup are limited, because the Indians lost just one of their top eight players from last season, No. 1 singles player Alok Nimgaonkar."

 

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Swimming: Shady Side Academy sophomore jumps to gold

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Shady Side Academy's long distance freestyler Caroline Colville made a long distance jump up the WPIAL Class AA leaderboard in her signature event, the 200-yard freestyle. A year ago, Colville made her WPIAL debut, finishing seventh and fifth in the 200 and 500 freestyle with times of 1:57.72 and 5:08.57.

Colville repeated her seventh-place finish in the 500 freestyle. It was her performance in the 200 freestyle that caught some by surprise. Colville shaved over a full second off her 2013 time and climbed from seventh place to the top of the podium, winning a gold medal with a time of 1:56.69.

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Boys Basketball: Shady Side rolls into WPIAL playoffs

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Drew Karpen profiles the Shady Side Academy boys basketball team. Click here to read his story.

"The upperclassmen on the Shady Side Academy boys basketball team have seen a lot of leadership turnover in their short basketball careers.

Entering this season, the Indians were on their third head coach in three years in David Vadnais, who was the former head coach of the girls team at The Ellis School before landing this job.

But whoever the coach has been over the past two decades, there has been one thing that hasn't changed. The Indians and the WPIAL playoffs basically go hand-in-hand. Over the past 19 years, the Indians have reached the playoffs 18 times and this year is no exception.

"My feeling coming in was there was pressure to make the playoffs," Vadnais said. "We have made the playoffs 18 of the last 19 years. I like that pressure. We found a way to win games. We don't want to rely on the history of the program but the pride in the school is athletics and you want to carry that on. We want to keep going.""

 

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Swimming: Shady Side Academy boys enjoy strong showing

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The Shady Side Academy boys swimming and diving team hardly took the competition lightly when it met Brentwood and Deer Lakes in back-to-back dual meets in the span of three days. The Indians defeated the Spartans 93-77 and two days later they defeated the Lancers 73-44. Both Brentwood and Deer Lakes had plenty of trouble matching Shady Side Academy's depth.

Somebody from every class stepped up in the opening event of the Brentwood meet with freshman Zachary Coughlin, sophomore Luke Pellegrini, junior Brendan Leech and senior Frank Benckart winning the 200-yard medley relay. Junior Andrew Lehman and senior Jason Weis finished 1-2 in the 200 freestyle, Pellegrini won the 100 breaststroke while Weis went on to win the 100 freestyle and Leech won the 500 freestyle. Weis, Benckart, Lehman and Leech won the 200 freestyle relay and the Indians made it for three-for-three in relays when Weis, Coughlin, Leech and Lehman teamed up on a winning 400 freestyle relay.