Baldwin’s Yauch turns focus to PIAA singles tournament
Friday, September 28, 2018 | 8:27 PM
Bethany Yauch, Baldwin’s standout junior tennis player, finished as the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up this season.
Yauch, who made school history this year by winning a section title in girls tennis, advanced to the WPIAL finals with decisive victories against Pine-Richland’s Abbey Nardelli (10-0), Mt. Lebanon’s Lauren Masteller (10-0) and Mars’ Amelia Haley, 6-2, 6-0.
Yauch, seeded second, fell to No. 1 seed, North Allegheny senior Ashley Huang, in the championship match at Shady Side Academy by scores of 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
“It was very hot, and it was a long and tough match,” Yauch said. “We both battled and wanted to win very bad, and she just outlasted me. She’s a very good player, no doubt.
“I feel like I played the best I possibly could. It was a tough match and I feel like I did all that I possibly could, and I’m happy with my result.”
Huang placed third at the 2017 WPIAL championships before going on to win the PIAA title.
“I never played Ashley before this tournament so I didn’t know what to expect,” Yauch said. “She is no doubt the toughest match I’ve played this season, and also the toughest loss I’ve had this season.”
Yauch has qualified for the PIAA girls singles tournament, which will take place Nov. 2-3 at Hershey Racquet Club.
“Her play in the WPIAL tournament was nothing short of amazing,” Baldwin coach Zach Smith said. “She showed so much poise and played to her strengths.
“She is getting ready for states and she is so focused on winning the state title. We have about a month to prepare, and trust me Beth will be ready.”
The amiable Yauch sat out last season recovering from appendicitis. She took third place as a freshman at the 2016 WPIAL finals.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.