Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

An Unlikely Tandem, Fox Chapel Pair Qualify for Piaa

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

An Unlikely Tandem, Fox Chapel Pair Qualify for Piaa

Article excerpt

Short is tall, while his relatively diminutive partner's strength is based more on crisp topspin strokes.

Together, this Fox Chapel Area duo is heading to Hershey.

Junior Ben Short and sophomore Dylan McCullough make for a sweet tandem. They were the runners-up at the WPIAL Class AAA doubles tournament last week, sweeping to victories against North Allegheny's Kevin Goth and Chris Lippiello, Mt. Lebanon's Peter Hazlett and Josh Smith and Central Catholic's Ross Molinaro and Adam Blasinsky Thursday at Shady Side Academy before losing, 6-3, 6-4, to the Shady Side Academy team of Alok Nimgaonkar and Chris Grubbs on the latter's home court Friday.

By advancing to the final, Short and McCullough qualified for the PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament, to be staged May 25 and 26 at the Hershey Racquet Club.

"Ben and Dylan [taking second place in the WPIAL] was a nice surprise," Fox Chapel coach David Prevost said. "At the beginning of the season, I didn't think we could get anybody to states, and they proved me wrong. Coming in second, that's an accomplishment for underclassmen. It worked out quite nicely."

They make for quite the complementary couple on the court. Short is anything but, standing 6 feet 4; McCullough stands about 5-5.

The former has a powerful serve, the latter one's is based on topspin that almost always gets in play.

"It's real nice together; they're kind of like 'Mutt and Jeff,'" Prevost said, referring to longtime comic characters. "Ben has a big serve, and Dylan an accurate serve. Dylan puts a lot of spin on his serve, so they each have different dimensions to the game -- and because they have little different dimensions to their games, it's a little harder for the opponent to consistently tee off on either."

McCullough is ranked among the top 50 by the USTA in its Middle States Region in the 16 age group.

In a quirk that displays the strength of Section 3-AAA more than anything else, Short and McCullough placed third in the section doubles tournament two weeks ago before placing second in the entire WPIAL. …

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