Shady Side Academy tandem captures school’s 11th WPIAL doubles title

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Saturday, April 30, 2022 | 10:01 AM


The WPIAL boys tennis doubles title has returned to Shady Side Academy.

Bulldogs senior Sam Bitzer and junior David Mnuskin overcame weather more suited for late January than late April to prevail over Franklin Regional’s Prerit Yadav and Dhruv Kulkarni, 6-3, 6-3, at North Allegheny High School.

The duo was seeded fourth and coming off an upset the previous day over No. 1-seeded Andrew and Aaron Allen, also of Franklin Regional, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Prior to that, the Allens eliminated eighth-seeded Cooper Friday and Will Siegel of Fox Chapel to reach the semifinal round.

The winds of Wexford proved to be no match for Bitzer.

“The wind is nothing new to me,” Bitzer said. “I practice and play outdoors a lot.”

Mnuskin made up for lost time as he missed all of last season following elbow surgery after his freshman season was wiped out due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We played well together. We kept the pressure on them,” Mnuskin said. “We’re definitely going to use this win, mentally, to prepare for the state tournament and hopefully take our game to another level.”

Bitzer and Mnuskin are now the 11th doubles champions from Shady Side, all coming since 1996. The Bulldogs pair will be back for the PIAA tournament on May 27 when they face the No. 3 team from District 1 at 8 a.m. at Hershey Racquet Club.

The tandem also will join their Bulldogs teammates in the WPIAL team tournament, which got underway Tuesday. Shady Side Academy was scheduled to host Pine-Richland in the opening round. The quarterfinals are set for Thursday and semifinals Monday.

The finals will be May 11 at Washington & Jefferson’s Janet T. Swanson Tennis Center.

Staff writer Paul Schofield contributed.

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