Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pine-Richland a Section Contender Again

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pine-Richland a Section Contender Again

Article excerpt

Talk about your triple crown -- the Pine-Richland girls tennis team's graduation departures from last season ran the gamut.

The Rams entered this season knowing they must replace a four- year starter, a three-year starter and a two-year starter.

Luckily for the Rams, the two most prominent players who remained are two of the best in the area.

Senior Taylor Perz and sophomore Marlys Bridgham headline Pine- Richland once again as the Rams set out to make their fifth consecutive semifinal appearance in the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament.

"We have some really good players who graduated, but all that means is we've got plenty of good players who can compete for positions this year," Perz said. "I think if that turns out well, the way we think it can, we'll be competitive just as we have in years past."

Pine-Richland has won at least a share of the past four team section championships. The past two years, the Rams have tied North Allegheny for the title.

This season, they're striving for the same thing after losing to the Tigers, 3-2, in their section-opening match on Aug. 24. Pine- Richland (2-2, 2-1) also lost a non-section match to WPIAL title contender Peters Township and defeated section rivals Hampton and North Hills in the season's first two weeks.

The Rams were rained out of a section match against Seneca Valley Tuesday and are scheduled to play Butler Area in a section match today.

In her second season at first singles after spending her first two varsity years at second singles behind Olivia Heim, Perz is ranked No. 19 by the USTA among players in the 18 age group in its Middle States Region that covers New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and parts of West Virginia.

Assuming she stays healthy, Perz will likely graduate as Pine- Richland's all-time girls tennis match victories leader.

Bridgham is No. 13 in the Middle States 16 age grouping.

Last season, Bridgham and Perz qualified for the WPIAL singles tournament by placing among the top three at the Section 2-AAA tournament. …

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