Big goals for Fox Chapel boys tennis team

Monday, March 4, 2019 | 1:30 AM

The Fox Chapel boys tennis team claimed its third straight WPIAL Class AAA title last April as they blanked rival Shady Side Academy, 5-0. Foxes coach Alex Slezak will have most of the pieces returning from that team with the exception of doubles players Kuran Singh and Karsten Lagerquist, both of whom graduated.

Leading the way this season will be senior Robby Shymansky, a Yale recruit.

He won the WPIAL Class AAA individual championship last year and will be joined by returning starters Jared Nord, Jay Kashyap, Brandon Wei and Milo Baron. Nord, Kashyap and Wei are seniors. Baron is a junior.

“We also have several freshmen who will be trying out for the team,” Slezak said. “I am very excited for their future, but it will be difficult for them to crack our upperclassman-heavy lineup. We are coming off of three WPIAL team titles with this core group of upperclassmen, and their experience is our strength.”

Slezak is aware his veterans must avoid overconfidence.

“We realize that we must remain humble and work hard, knowing that is the only way to prepare and perform as best we can,” he said.

A minor area of concern is who will replace the graduated doubles players.

“We are in the process of finding out who will round out the rest of our starting lineup, although those looking to fill the vacant spots have been around and worked hard the last few years,” Slezak said.

He believes the Foxes will face a rugged section.

“Our section will be full of solid teams including us, Shady Side Academy and Allderdice,” he said. “We hope to contend for the WPIAL title, but we realize there are many good teams out there as well. It will be interesting to see how Sewickley Academy does since they have moved from AA to AAA.”

Sewickley Academy has won 15 consecutive WPIAL AA team championships.

Slezak is looking at a long run for Shymansky.

“Robby will look to defend his WPIAL singles championship, and we are hoping he will attain the gold medal that has eluded him at PIAA singles,” Slezak said. “He has a silver (2016) and a bronze(‘18) already, but it will be something we prepare for all season long.”

Along with Shady Side Academy and Allderdice, the Foxes will compete in Class AAA, Section 3 with Central Catholic, Shaler, Plum, Hampton and Woodland Hills.


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