Quaker Valley tennis seniors leave lasting legacy

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Sunday, June 19, 2022 | 11:01 AM


There wasn’t a single “unsung hero” on the 2022 Quaker Valley boys championship tennis team.

Instead, it was a group of players that carried the Quakers to their second consecutive WPIAL Class 2A title and an appearance in the PIAA semifinal round.

“In my mind, this year’s whole senior varsity group — individually and collectively — are the unsung heroes,” QV coach Christi Hays said. “Yes, they have gotten a lot of press and attention, but I don’t think we can fully appreciate their four-year legacy — a legacy of excellence, of a rigorous work ethic, of a love for the game and for each other and of a winner’s mentality. They have left a blueprint to work from for every Quaker Valley team to come.”

QV’s “legacy” team was made up of seven seniors — Mike Sirianni, Will Sirianni, Henry Veeck, Ryan Edwards, Devin Carter, Justin Hajdukiewicz and Michael Lipton.

Hays briefly talked about each player:

• Mike Sirianni: “Our ‘rock’ at No. 1 for four years.”

• Will Sirianni: “His brother’s trusted wing man.”

• Veeck: “Invaluable because of his proficiency at singles and doubles.”

• Edwards: “A gifted athlete with a championship mindset.”

• Carter and Hajdukiewicz: “Literally ‘willed’ themselves to become good tennis players by logging insane court time.”

• Lipton: “A positive and most supportive partner.”

Twins Mike and Will Sirianni were four-year varsity players who combined to go 82-15 at Quaker Valley.

Mike Sirianni, competing at the highly competitive No. 1 position all four years, finished his career with a 39-10 record. Will Sirianni, the Quakers’ No. 2 player throughout his career, racked up a 43-5 mark.

Veeck, Lipton and Carter were three-year varsity players who also had outstanding individual records.

Veeck and Lipton were 27-2 and 26-2, respectively, while Carter ended his career at 19-3.

Hajdukiewicz and Edwards competed at the varsity level for two years with amazing results.

Hajdukiewicz compiled a near-perfect 25-1 record. Edwards was 18-2, participating in tennis in 2019 and 2022.

The eight starters on this year’s squad combined to log an impressive 104-10 individual record with Veeck (17-0), Hajdukiewicz (16-0) and Edwards (8-0) going undefeated.

Veeck, who started out as the team’s No. 3 singles player, and Hajdukiewicz were doubles partners, as were Lipton (13-1) and sophomore Chase Merkel (7-2).

Mike Sirianni (13-3), Will Sirianni (16-1) and Carter (14-3) played in the top three singles positions.

“We will miss the Quaker Valley Class of 2022,” Hays said. “We’ve had a successful four-year run with this senior class — all seven of them. They are all great to work with, they get along, and they are respectful competitors. They would make any coach look good.”

Hays added a talented underclassman — Merkel — to the ‘legacy’ team.

“Although a sophomore, he could be considered an honorary part of the ‘legacy’ team because he was the ‘next man up’ when Edwards went out for the season (with an injury),” Hays said. “And he performed admirably.”

Sophomores Joseph Veeck, Brahm Gianiodis and Grant Webb, junior Michael Snyder and freshman Grayson Beatty rounded out this year’s varsity squad.

“They witnessed a clinic every practice and every match,” Hays said.

Quaker Valley advanced to the WPIAL Class 2A finals three times since 2019 (the 2020 season was pandemic-stopped), finishing as runner-up in 2019 and as WPIAL champion the past two years.

The Quakers advanced to states all three seasons, making it to the quarterfinals in 2019 and 2021, and taking it a step further this year by qualifying for the semifinals.

The Quakers also won the Midwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship three times since 2019. QV, Moon, Montour, West Allegheny, Mars, Blackhawk, Beaver, Central Valley, Neshannock, Beaver Falls, Hopewell, Ellwood City, Riverside, Ambridge and Hampton are among teams involved in the event.

“We do not give out individual awards at the end of the year because our mantra all along has been to carry on the theme of the Quaker Valley athletic program, and that is ‘#US,’” Hays said. “It takes every person on the roster to play their role. We win or lose as a team.”

The Quakers finished with 16-1 and 13-1 records the past two seasons and were 44-6 over the last four years.

“It was a great ride,” Hays said.

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