Greensburg Central Catholic girls doubles pair proud of state medal

Monday, November 27, 2023 | 10:24 AM

The 2023 season was one of success for the top Greensburg Central Catholic tennis doubles team.

It culminated with medals and a fourth-place finish in the PIAA Class 2A doubles championships.

“I feel really accomplished. Not many teams have brought home a state medal,” sophomore Stella Bossert said.

Added junior Sasha Hoffman: “It feels really good. We did very well, even though it was fourth place. I think we’re both really happy with our result.”

Caitlyn Null and Samantha DeStefano were the first Greensburg Central Catholic doubles team to medal in states when they placed fourth for the Centurions in 2008.

Hoffman and Bossert worked to refine their skills in the month between the WPIAL Class 2A doubles championships and the PIAAs.

“They practiced a lot at the Greensburg Racquet Club,” Greensburg Central coach Chad Bossert said. “We worked on some things, and they took some lessons with instructors at the club. We practiced four days a week.”

The training was crucial for a run in the state playoffs.

“I was scheduling all of our lessons,” Stella Bossert said. “I tried to get us in twice a week with one of the coaches at the racquet club, and I tried getting us to play some matches against different duos to see different styles.”

Said Hoffman: “We would play tennis against our dads and play other doubles teams at the tennis club. The lessons were intense.”

Hoffman and Bossert beat Roan Lion and Maddy Wittman of District 9 champion St. Marys Area, 6-1, 6-2, in the opening round.

“The day of our first match, we were really nervous,” Stella Bossert said. “We were talking to each other, lifting each other’s spirits, just trying to calm each other down and I think it helped us.”

Then, they won a hard-fought battle 6-1, 7-6 against Anna Hall and Caroline Crawford of District 4 champion Loyalsock to advance to the semifinals.

“Coach told us he thought we could beat the first team we played, and we went in with the mindset of doing what we were taught and it helped us in both of our matches,” Hoffman said.

Familiar foes awaited them in Katie Hardy and Brea Kelly of North Catholic, whom Hoffman and Bossert defeated in the WPIAL semifinals.

This time, Hardy and Kelly got the best of the Centurions duo 7-6, 0-6, 6-2.

Looking to claim third place, the girls were beaten by Emily and Lindsey Greb of Knoch, 6-0, 6-0, in the PIAA consolation game.

Hoffman and Bossert were made doubles partners just before the doubles section tournament at the end of September.

The girls did well as the top seed in that tournament, advancing to the semifinals before losing to Tess and Eve Kuzneski of Indiana.

They placed third with a win over No. 3 seed Amelia Miller and Beatrix Pawlikowsky of Southmoreland in the consolation game.

At the WPIAL Class 2A doubles championships, Bossert and Hoffman were surprised when they were seeded 15th, but it worked in their favor.

They defeated No. 2-seeded Anna Mrkonja and Mia Woodske of Beaver in the opening round. Then they dispatched No. 7 seed Nether and Lara Ejzak from Knoch in the quarterfinals before besting Hardy and Kelly in the semifinals.

Hoffman and Bossert lost the championship match to the Greb twins, finishing with a silver medal.

Hoffman and Bossert each have a 4.6 GPA through the first quarter while having a jam-packed schedule.

“The season itself is short, but the WPIALs and the PIAAs drag on,” Coach Bossert said. “It’s a big commitment, and both Stella and Sasha are in advanced placement classes and doing a lot of other things off the court. It’s a big achievement.”

Hoffman and Bossert built confidence in their play as a duo and look forward to being a top pair again next season, barring either qualifying for states in singles.

“Playing with Sasha has helped me develop my game immensely,” Stella Bossert said, “and it’s given me more confidence in my game.”


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