Knoch’s Bauer sisters, Peters Township’s defending champs win WPIAL doubles titles

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Thursday, October 8, 2020 | 6:04 PM


Ally Bauer knew what it felt like to win a WPIAL doubles championship.

The Knoch sophomore teamed with the graduated Libby Conlon to claim last year’s Class AA crown.

On Thursday, Bauer made it two in a row, and this time, it was a sister act as she and older sister Brooke, a senior, got the job done.

The Bauers made quick work of South Park’s Nicole Kempton and Haley Spitznagel, 6-1, 6-2, under sunny skies at North Allegheny.

“It’s just so cool to win this with Brooke,” Ally Bauer said. “Since last year, we had talked about doing this together.”

The sisters played together one time prior to the WPIAL tournament. They teamed to win a match in a section contest against Riverview.

“We knew there was a lot of great competition, and we would have to be at our best,” Ally Bauer said.

The Bauers punched their tickets to the finals with a 10-3 win over Sana Singh and Emma DiSantis from Sewickley Academy in the quarterfinals and a 6-2, 6-0 semifinal triumph over North Catholic’s Reagan Sommariva and Riley Pylant.

“I think we played pretty well all the way through,” Brooke Bauer said. “We took it point by point and were really focused. We didn’t try to do anything other than play the way we know how to play, and it worked out really well. This is such a great feeling.”

Brooke Bauer was no stranger to WPIAL finals competition. She fell to Knoch teammate and fellow senior Laura Greb in the WPIAL singles finals last year.

While the Bauers claimed the Class AA title, it was a repeat performance for Peters Township junior Kat Wang and sophomore Marra Bruce in Class AAA.

Wang and Bruce defended their WPIAL title from 2019. They rolled past Mt. Lebanon’s Lauren Masteller and Lily Bosch, 6-0, 6-2, in Thursday’s championship match.

“Last year, we didn’t have as much pressure on us. We were young,” Bruce said. “This year, it was like double the pressure because everyone was after us. We had to work extra hard to make sure we won our matches and played the best that we could. That makes this (title) extra special. It feels great to repeat.”

Under normal circumstances, the top three WPIAL finishers in both Class AA and AAA qualify for the state singles tournament. Because of covid safety measures and logistics, the PIAA has limited the entries for the state doubles tournaments to WPIAL champions only.

As with singles, the doubles first-round and quarterfinals matches will be at district sites with the semifinal qualifiers heading to Hershey for a one-day set of matches to determine the state champion.

The Bauers and Wang and Bruce will start the state tournament in the quarterfinals Nov. 4.

Wang and Bruce will be gunning for a second straight state championship.

Before both duos can concentrate on their PIAA doubles tournaments, they will join their teams next week in search of WPIAL team gold. The WPIAL team playoff brackets were released Thursday evening.

While Bruce and Wang were able to finish off a six-game sweep of the first set, Marstellar and Bosch didn’t go down without a fight.

The last game of the set went to five deuces before Wang and Bruce came out on top.

“We knew (Marstellar and Bosch) would come out and give us their best,” Wang said. “They are a really good team. There was great competition throughout this draw. We had the pressure of repeating, but I think it was a good pressure.”

Wang and Bruce defeated Upper St Clair’s Maggie Stief and Anna Rush 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Stief and Rush bounced back to claim the consolation final with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Fox Chapel’s Carissa Shepard and Katie Voight.

Sommariva and Pylant won the Class AA consolation match as they outlasted Sewickley Academy’s Victoria Keller and Milla Ivanova, 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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