Baldwin tennis standout Bethany Yauch leaves lasting legacy

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Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 11:48 AM


Not only was Bethany Yauch a four-year starter at Baldwin, she ended her outstanding career knowing she is the best female tennis player in school history.

Yauch was a two-time section champion and runner-up once. She placed second in the WPIAL twice and earned third place as a freshman.

She qualified for both the WPIAL and PIAA tournament three times and ended up third in the state in Class AAA this season.

“I am so proud to have played for this school for the past four years,” Yauch said. “I am so happy I got to wear purple and white and had the opportunity to be a Fighting Highlander. I want to thank all my coaches and my strength training coach, Ed Wiethdolder, at Strength, Fitness and Speed, along with my family and everyone who supported me to make this journey possible.”

Yauch is member of the Upper St. Clair Tennis Development Program, where she is coached by Jan Irwin. She mainly trains at USCTDP during the winter months.

Yauch began playing tennis at age 5 and has been on the competitive circuit since her eighth birthday. If there’s anyone who know Yauch’s game, it’s Irwin.

“I have trained Bethany for eight years,” Irwin said. “Bethany has an all-court game. She is powerful from the ground but looks for and creates opportunities to come forward to the net and finish the point. Her serve is very effective. Many times, it puts her in an offensive position right away. Bethany is extremely athletic, which allows her to move well and play a great defensive game as well as an offensive game.

“It has been a privilege to work with Bethany all these years. She is a focused, hard-working, determined young woman with a big heart. She has always been respectful and generous with her spirit. We have trained hard but always with joy and love.”

Yauch, who sat out her sophomore season with appendicitis after assuming Baldwin’s No. 1 singles position as a freshman, finished with a 59-8 career record. She went 18-4 as a freshman, won four matches before her illness the next year, jumped to 16-1 as a junior, and logged a 21-3 mark this season.

In her junior season, Yauch became the first athlete at Baldwin to win a section championship in girls tennis. She went undefeated during the regular season.

Yauch earned her second section title this season before advancing deep into both the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA tournaments.

“As a senior, Bethany continued to exemplify all the traits of a true leader,” Irwin said. “She was always encouraging to her teammates, and she showed genuine commitment to her team and to Baldwin High School. There was a mutual respect and support for each other and her coach, driven by Bethany’s leadership.”

Yauch signed a letter of intent with Division I Cleveland State, a member of the Horizon Conference, where she will continue her tennis career. She opted for Cleveland State after visiting the school with her parents.

“Cleveland State is going to love Bethany,” Irwin said. “She will bring her coachability, positivity, encouraging spirit, and hard-working, mentally tough self to her coach and team.

“She will thrive in an environment that challenges her. As a solid, highly skilled tennis player, Bethany will be an amazing asset to the Cleveland State team. They will also enjoy her warm, fun and energetic personality.”

Yauch has a 3.6 GPA and plans to study general business in the future.

Her goal is to become a corporate lawyer.

“I’m excited for the next four years at Cleveland State and beyond,” she said. “And I’m proud of the impact I made at my high school.”

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