Quaker Valley boys tennis aims to defend WPIAL Class 2A title

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Sunday, April 10, 2022 | 8:01 AM


Quaker Valley’s boys tennis team is the defending WPIAL Class 2A champion.

And with a senior-laden roster this spring — including the top three players from last year, Mike Sirianni, Will Sirianni and Henry Veeck — the Quakers covet their chances of repeating.

The QV netters are coached by Christi Hays, who began her fifth season with a 38-7 career record.

“In 2019, we were WPIAL finalists and quarters at states,” Hays said. “2020 was the covid year, and in 2021 we were WPIAL champs and advanced to quarters at states. Even though both of those seasons by any standard were highly successful, the boys and I just couldn’t help feeling that we had left ‘chips on the table.’

“So to say we are extremely excited about our prospects for this year is an understatement. We are all-in and we think we have the squad to do it. It’s almost an ‘embarrassment of riches’ with so many returning players. We have great talent and great depth which is important with the high school format of three singles and two doubles making up a match.

“But it is so very important not to get ‘too far over our skis,’ meaning we have to take each step as it comes and take care of business one match at a time. Expectations are a slippery slope. You still have to actually stay the course and stay upright. That’s our goal.”

Last year, after earning the No. 1 seed, Quaker Valley captured its first WPIAL title since 2003 with a 3-2 victory over South Park.

Also last year, the Quakers were section champs, advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals and ended up 13-1 overall.

Mike Sirianni, competing at No. 1 singles, was 10-3, won the section title and finished as a WPIAL silver medalist.

Will Sirianni, at No. 2 singles, placed fourth in the WPIAL after taking second in the section. He also was a WPIAL runner-up at doubles and racked up an 11-1 record.

The Sirianni twins are joined by Veeck, at No. 3 singles. who was 10-2 a year ago.

“We really don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Veeck said. “We want to stay humble and just win a match at a time. With that being said, we did win WPIALs last year, and I think the team this year is better. We lost two important players from last year, but every single starter this year has really improved a noticeable amount.

“I came into this year looking to hold onto my third singles spot, and it looks like that is going to work out. It was tough because of everyone improving a lot. But beyond that, I want to be a leader of the team. It’s kind of tough because all seven starters are seniors, so it’s not like I have age on anyone. But I am trying to lead where I can and be a vocal player.”

At doubles play, seniors Michael Lipton, Justin Hajdukiewicz and Devin Carter and sophomore Chase Merkel are back. Lipton (11-1) and Hajdukiewicz (9-1) combined to go 20-2 last season.

Lipton and Veeck placed fourth at last year’s WPIAL doubles tournament. Hajdukiewicz also was a leading doubles player last spring and won the deciding match against South Park at the WPIAL team finals.

“But they all will get chances at singles,” Hays said.

Filling out this year’s varsity roster are senior Ryan Edwards, junior Michel Snyder, sophomores Joseph Veeck, Grant Webb and Brahm Gianiodis, and Grayson Beatty, a top freshman prospect.

“Ryan Edwards is back after taking two years off to concentrate on soccer,” Hays said. “He adds great depth, leadership and versatility and that state championship mentality having been a standout on the QV state champion soccer team.

“Our strength is definitely our experience and team depth. And we’ve also gotten a lot of inspiration from all the success of our QV fall and winter sports teams.”

The Quakers have played the role of powerhouse in the first half of the season, racking up 6-0 section and 8-0 overall records.

Henry Veeck, who plays tennis year-round, is a member of student council at QV, and volunteers in his local youth group. He has a 3.8 GPA and is considering continuing his career at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Veeck offered some additional insight on this year’s tennis team.

“I think our team’s greatest strength is the culture,” Henry Veeck said. “Our coach says we’re very goofy, and she is right but in a good way. Since all the starters are seniors, we’ve been going to school together since middle school and played on the team together since our freshman year.

“We’re very tight and know each other very well. We’re good at picking each other up and having fun. That is definitely one of the reasons we’re so good; we just have fun. We all want to be here. We’ve looked forward to this season all year.”

Along with the postseason.

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