Quaker Valley boys tennis in title contention with deep lineup

Sunday, April 11, 2021 | 11:01 AM

The Quaker Valley boys tennis team went on a run to the PIAA tournament in 2019 and finished with an overall regular season record of 10-2. Before the coronavirus pandemic canceled their season last year, the Quakers were hoping to do it again.

Now, for a third straight season, the Quakers have the confidence and the depth they need to compete for a WPIAL championship and even more in 2021.

The Quakers opened the season by winning their first five matches, including section victories over Winchester Thurston, Keystone Oaks and McGuffey. They also beat Class AAA opponents Moon and West Allegheny.

“Their maturity, their mindset and their focus has been really fun to see,” Quaker Valley coach Christi Hays said. “They are really maturing at the right time, and it’s all coming together. We aren’t looking too far ahead, though, either. We are just taking it one match at a time.”

The Quakers have a lot going for them. With twin brothers Mike and Will Sirianni leading the way at No. 1 and No. 2 singles and plenty of talent throughout the lineup that includes juniors Henry Veeck, Michael Lipton and Devin Carter, as well as senior captains Thomas Pangburn and Jack Bresch, Hays believes she has a solid team from top to bottom.

But the talent level doesn’t stop at the end of her starting lineup. Hays believes, outside of the Sirianni twins, most of her roster is interchangeable.

“The great thing about the team this year is they don’t drop off at all,” Hays said. “I have 10 guys on the varsity and maybe outside of our top two boys, the rest of the team is interchangeable almost, so I think that is really going to be our strength this year because all the way down the lineup we are strong.”

Along with talent, the Quakers also have the motivation to make another deep run. They were set to have five starters returning from the 2019 team last season, and they thought they were in store for an even better year. So, when the season was canceled, the Quakers were severely disappointed, but they didn’t let it stop them from making improvements.

Hays said the team got right back to work this offseason with hopes of making another trip to Hershey.

“They made it a goal to work so hard in the offseason, with the goal of competing this season,” Hays said. “They didn’t let any time pass. They just got right to work, and they’ve all played more tennis than they have ever played before.”

The Quakers are reaping the rewards of their hard work. They have won all three of their section matchups by a 5-0 score, and they won matchups against West Allegheny and Moon by a score of 4-1.

Quaker Valley got a taste of what it takes to compete at the top level two years ago in a loss to Indiana in the WPIAL championship match and then competed in the state quarterfinals at the Hershey Racquet Club in Hershey. It gave them the experience and the drive that they needed to get back there again.

“They didn’t really know what it was all about, and they certainly got a taste of it in the WPIAL finals and Hershey was even a little bit more for them,” Hays said. “So, the good news is that our experienced players can tell the younger ones what it’s like and that helps a lot.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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