Shymansky, Peters Township duo get WPIAL back to top at state tennis championships

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Sunday, May 26, 2019 | 7:45 PM


Latrobe graduate Chad Kissell was the most recent WPIAL Class AAA boys tennis singles player to win a PIAA title.

He captured the state crown in 2015.

Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky wanted to be the next in line. He was in position last year, as well as in 2016 and ‘17, but was not able to break through.

But things were different Saturday in Hershey.

Shymansky, eliminated in the semifinals last year, returned to Chocolatetown and left with gold as he topped defending champion Sameer Gangoli, a junior from District 1’s Great Valley, in three sets.

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It was a rematch from their No. 1 singles encounter during a PIAA team tournament match May 18. Gangoli won that matchup in three sets.

Shymansky is Fox Chapel’s first PIAA singles champion since Harrison Lauer in 1975. The PIAA was just one classification for boys tennis from the first state tournament in 1960-98.

The WPIAL was guaranteed to have its first PIAA Class AAA doubles champion since 2015. It was a rematch of the WPIAL title contest between Shady Side Academy’s Naman Dua and Colin Gramley and Peters Township’s Connor Bruce and Elian Ascencio.

Unlike the WPIAL finals, won by Dua and Gramley, Bruce and Ascencio found themselves atop the medals podium with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

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It was the first Peters Township boys tennis singles or doubles state title since 2008 when the senior combination of Doug Subosits and Andrew Nixon took home the Class AAA doubles crown, also by a 6-3, 6-3 score.

Three of Bruce and Ascencio’s four state-tournament matches were won in straight sets. The duo rallied from down one set in the semifinals to defeat Cedar Crest’s Dylan Tull and Jack Muraika, the District 3 champions.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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