Penn-Trafford tennis star Mia Williams back for more after brilliant freshman year
Sunday, August 27, 2023 | 11:01 AM
Penn-Trafford sophomore Mia Williams can make history if things go as expected over the next three years.
Williams, the returning WPIAL Class 3A champion, could become the first girl in her classification to win four titles. Knoch’s Laura Greb won four titles (2017-2020) in Class 2A.
Five girls have won three titles in Class 3A: Mt. Lebanon’s Gretchen Rush (1978-79, 1981), Mt. Lebanon’s Kelly Kolankiewicz (1982-84), Peters Township’s Sarah Riske (1995, 1997-98), Latrobe’s Michaela Kissell (2003-05) and Plum’s Ronit Yurovsky (2009-11).
Williams burst on the scene by dominating her WPIAL opponents. She defeated Upper St. Clair senior Maggie Stief in the finals, 6-1, 6-0.
In the PIAA tournament, she got a tough draw and dropped a hard-fought 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 decision to Council Rock South junior Dasha Chichkina in the quarterfinals. She defeated Cumberland Valley freshman Riya Srinivas, 6-0-, 6-4.
The top four PIAA finishers from last year all return — state champion Grace Li of Unionville, Chichkina, who placed second, Spring-Ford’s Mia Matriccino, who placed third, and fourth-place finisher Helena Lynn of Liberty.
Williams did defeat Chichkina in a tournament this summer.
“We have similar styles,” Williams said. “I beat her in three sets and that was a good confidence builder. I definitely want to win a WPIAL title again and go back to states. I was happy with my results last year, but I definitely can do better this year.”
Williams said she feels her game has continued to improve through playing in tournaments.
She won an International Tennis Federation event in Maryland, placed second in an L4 (18U) tournament in West Virginia and reached the quarterfinals in an ITF event in New York.
Williams in ranked third in the state in her grade and is a top 50 player overall.
“I don’t get too hung up about rankings,” Williams said. “My focus is to continue to improve.
“Going into last year, I had no expectations for WPIAL and PIAAs. This year, there is an expectation from the results last year. I don’t think too much about expectations. I just play my game.”
Williams’ coach, Megan Satira, said she expects a second WPIAL title for her star and an improved finish at states.
“Mia is an amazing player, the hardest worker I’ve ever come across,” Satira said. “She’s going to win WPIAL again and make a run at states. Last year, she had an unlucky draw when she lost in the quarters. She learned a lot from that loss.”
With Williams leading the way, Satira feels the team could do well.
“We return our No. 2 singles player, Lauren Burkley, and we return girls who played,” Satira said. “We have a first-year player at No. 3 singles, Annabelle Aquino. So we have a lot returning. We’ll have good doubles teams.”
The doubles players are sophomore Amanda Wendler and junior Kylie McKenzie, and senior Ally Moraca and sophomore Felicity Larson.
“I expect Franklin Regional will be our toughest competition.” Satira said. “I’m very excited about the season.”
Williams too said she has great expectations for the team.
“The team is great. I love these guys,” Williams said. “I feel we can do well. I’m excited about the team.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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