Knoch, Valley tennis teams set for WPIAL team tournament

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Monday, October 7, 2019 | 3:57 PM


After several weeks of dual matches and individual players and doubles teams going for WPIAL gold, the Knoch and Valley girls tennis teams turn their attention Tuesday to the WPIAL Class AA team tournament.

First-round matches are set for a 3 p.m. start. After a break, the tournament resumes with the quarterfinals next Monday and the semifinals the following day at sites to be determined.

The championship and consolation finals will be Oct. 16, and the top three teams will advance to the PIAA playoffs in Hershey starting Oct. 22.

Knoch, which finished undefeated in Section 3 for the fourth straight year, is the No. 2 seed – Sewickley Academy is No. 1 – and will host Ringgold in the first round.

Valley, which finished 8-1 in the section, is the No. 6 seed and hosts Southmoreland.

North Catholic (7-2) and Derry (5-4) are slotted as the No. 9 and No. 14 seeds, respectively.

“This section is one of the toughest in Class AA,” Valley coach Rachel Link said. “It is competitive from top to bottom. With the WPIAL going to super sections, you have one chance against each team. There are no second chances and no room for error. You have to bring your ‘A’ game each time.”

Knoch is hoping to qualify for states for the third year in a row and capture its first WPIAL team title. The Knights finished runner-up to Sewickley Academy the past two seasons.

Laura Greb, the WPIAL Class AA singles champion, Brooke Bauer and Ally Bauer, will be at No. 1 through No. 3 singles, respectively, while the doubles teams will be Libby Conlon and Jadyn Brown and Riley Wynn and Caroline Ejzak.

Conlon and Ally Bauer teamed to win the WPIAL Class AA doubles title last Thursday.

The last time Knoch didn’t qualify for the WPIAL playoffs — 2015, when it was in Class AAA — also was the last time Valley made it to the Class AA tournament.

That year, the Vikings qualified as the No. 4 team from Section 3, drew No. 2 Quaker Valley in the first round and suffered a 5-0 loss.

Link said a key to Valley’s run to the WPIAL team playoffs has been consistency, as the same lineup played each match.

Madison Gatto, Casey Gatto and Aimee Johnson are the top three singles players.

Rylee Gatto and Eden Richey, who finished undefeated in section dual matches, are at No. 1 doubles, with Rachel Schrock and Elisabeth Ervin manning the No. 2 double position.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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