Doubles, team success highlight banner year for Chartiers Valley boys tennis

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | 11:01 AM

“Chalk” is a term used in a tournament when all the favorites advance in each round.

The WPIAL tennis committee has a history of being spot on, with very few upsets in the singles, doubles and team tennis postseason.

Then along came the 2023 Chartiers Valley boys tennis program with some old school erasers to get rid of the chalk in both the Class 2A doubles and team tennis district playoffs.

Don’t call these Colts bronco busters; refer to them as bracket busters.

The Chartiers Valley team was a No. 7 seed, yet reached the district semifinals while the Colts duo of senior Liam Pederson and junior Brendan Hallisey took it two steps further and, as the No. 9-seed, stunned the field by winning WPIAL doubles gold this spring.

“Being the lower seed and powering through to become the doubles champs was huge,” Chartiers Valley coach Robert Mack said. “Being a lower-seed team and then qualifying for states says a lot about the players. They played with tenacity and it showed.”

The overall success of Colts team was more than just a terrific doubles duo.

“Shokhrukh Kholmatjonov (senior) had a terrific season with an overall 12-2 record,” Mack said. “He is a mentally strong player who figures out his opponent to find a way to win. Hallisey also had a strong season with an overall 14-2 record. He only had one singles match loss. Our doubles teams, Brandon Gallo and Kaden Vietmeier and Ajay Ohmnathan and Tanishq Bansod, had a great section record. Liam (Pederson) also had an unbeaten section record.”

Mack pointed to wins over Hampton at the beginning of the season and Quaker Valley in the WPIAL quarterfinals as highlights for the Colts.

“Beating the No. 2 seed to qualify for states was very exciting,” he said. “They are a solid team.”

The unexpected district championship run for Pederson and Hallisey was the pinnacle of a memorable season.

“Liam and Brendan shocked a lot of people,” Mack said. “They complemented each other and enjoy playing together. It was very thrilling and entertaining to watch them.”

It was the first championship in program history.

“For us to be a qualifier in both the team and the doubles tennis competition means a lot,” Mack said. “It’s great to have Chartiers Valley’s tennis program get acknowledged for their talent. I hope it will encourage more CV students to come out for tennis.”

The PIAA doubles championships are at the Hershey Racquet Club on Memorial Day weekend.

“I think Liam and Brendan will be very competitive at the state level,” Mack said. “I’m looking forward to coaching and watching them play.”

No matter what happens in the state playoffs, Mack realizes this has been a season to remember for the Colts.

“The season has been very gratifying and enjoyable,” he said. “The boys have played so well. Coach Pattinato and I had a blast with the team this year. The team just wanted to win at all costs. They were always fired up and ready to play.”

This was a season to grow on, which is what the program plans to do in the spring of 2024.

“I am very excited about the young talent coming up next year,” Mack said. “I am optimistic that I have Brendan returning for one more year. He will be an inspiration for the younger players. I have five seniors this year, so we will need to rebuild the team.”


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