Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sewickley Continues Its Wpial Dominance

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sewickley Continues Its Wpial Dominance

Article excerpt

There's no denying that Sewickley Academy has had more than its share of raw tennis talent over the years.

It would have been impossible to win nine consecutive WPIAL Class AA team championships if the Panthers didn't.

But what Sewickley Academy showed Friday on the sun-splashed courts at North Allegheny High School went beyond any talent advantage or physical superiority.

At the WPIAL team championship match against Hampton, the Panthers showed how mentally tough they are.

"It was really a battle of willpower and who wanted it more," second singles player Grayson Geller said.

A game Hampton team showed up primed for an upset, the Talbots taking first-set leads in four of the five matches.

Of those matches, three had first sets that would be tied, 5-5. Two went to tiebreakers.

Sewickley Academy won them all. Further, once Colin Kaye (first singles), Will Kleeman (third singles) and Patrick Dellinger and Luke Vith (first doubles) came back to win their respective first sets, they rolled to easy second-set victories.

What was appearing to materialize into a possible upset suddenly was turned into a rout as the Panthers quickly closed out a 4-1 victory.

"I'm very proud of our kids because the second sets were all better than the first sets in terms of the scores," Sewickley Academy coach Whitney Snyder said.

"I'm just very proud of the kids for hanging in there and seeing it through ... Hampton has a tremendous team. They have one of the strongest Double-A teams that I have seen in a long time. We had to bring our A-plus game. That's not a cliche; we actually did."

The first-set deficits Sewickley Academy faced included Dellinger and Vith trailing Paul Scherer and Jung Bang, 5-2. They would win the next five games to take the set and the second set, 6-2, to take the match.

At first singles, Kaye fought off four set points with Hampton's Brad Cisek serving for the set. He would break Cisek in that game, eventually cruise to a 7-2 tiebreaker victory and roll in the second set, 6-1. …

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