Sirianni twins make unforgettable impact on Quaker Valley tennis program

Sunday, June 26, 2022 | 11:01 AM

They formed a firm foundation for the Quaker Valley boys tennis program the past four years.

Twin brothers Mike and Will Sirianni were top-flight singles players at QV since their freshman season.

“As a coach, if someone came to you and said you will ‘inherit’ twin brothers who will define your tennis program for the next four years, your initial reaction would be, ‘What’s the catch?’” QV coach Christi Hays said. “But the reality for me as a coach and for our boys tennis program (from 2019-2022), there was no catch. But boy, were the Sirianni twins ever a ‘catch.’

“As I have said before, when you are looking to build something, you always need a strong foundation. When Will and Mike Sirianni arrived four years ago, they gave us that foundation and we were able to successfully build on it with the addition of so many other talented players.

“They will be missed and hard to replace. How do you replace two quality young men like that? But they — like all the varsity players in the class of 2022 — left a legacy for the next teams to follow.”

Actually, the Siriannis’ stint as distinguished tennis players began prior to their celebrated high school careers.

“I always have my antenna out for any new talent that might be out there,” Hays said. “I was aware of the reputation of incoming freshmen Will and Mike. I remember vividly seeing the boys play for the first time as middle schoolers. Through the tennis grapevine, I had heard about the twins, but so many times players don’t live up to the (early) hype. I was immediately impressed, not only by their skill but also by what nice young men they are.

“It was a red-letter day for our program when Mike and Will joined the team four years ago. Their presence immediately upgraded us from a good high school team to a bona fide WPIAL and PIAA contender. I felt like I had won some sort of lottery. And it certainly paid off. They certainly made me look good as a coach.”

Mike Sirianni immediately earned the No. 1 singles spot with the Quakers and never relinquished it. He was 13-3 this season and 25-5 the past two seasons and finished his varsity career at 39-10.

“It cannot be overstated how difficult that position is,” Hays said, “to be facing the best player every opponent has. But he accepted the challenge, and his efforts and well-documented extraordinary record inspired the rest of the team.

“Mike’s work ethic was always something to be admired and it set a high bar for all his teammates. He definitely led by example. And like his brother, Mike consistently displayed great sportsmanship.”

Will Sirianni started out at the No. 3 singles position as a freshman then quickly moved up to No. 2 in his sophomore season. He was 11-1 as a junior and 16-1 as a senior.

He lost only five matches in four years and ended up with a 43-5 career record.

“Will made an equally impactful contribution to our team these last four years,” Hays said. “So many times, the No. 2 singles spot is the pivotal line in a tennis match. Much more often than not, Will came through for the team with crucial, victory-clinching wins.

“What his accomplishments showed was that Will was a tough, gritty competitor who found a way to get it done. But again, just like his brother, what was even more impressive is that Will always displayed great sportsmanship, a commodity that is sometimes rare and undervalued in sports.”

This season, Mike Sirianni repeated as a silver medalist at the WPIAL Class 2A singles tournament. As a junior, he won the Section 4-2A title as well as placing second in the WPIAL.

“I am very pleased with my high school tennis career,” Mike said, “but there was still something left to be desired for not being able to play out the 2020 season. But I think that over the years, I have been able to thrive.

“I have many great memories and I think the best one would have to be winning the 2021 WPIAL team title after placing second in 2019 and not being able to play in 2020. I also enjoyed going back to the parking lot with the rest of the team after practices and matches and just chatting about whatever anyone wanted to talk about.”

Of course, Mike naturally paid tribute to his talented sibling.

“Having my twin brother as a teammate the past four years has been fantastic,” Mike said, “because I always knew I would have someone I could rely on. And he always gave me brutally honest input 100% of the time.”

Will Sirianni repeated as a section silver medalist this season and participated in the WPIAL singles tournament. He advanced to the quarterfinal round where he suffered a slight shoulder injury.

As a junior, Will placed fourth in the WPIAL. He also was a WPIAL runner-up in doubles.

“I had a great experience and I learned a lot during my career,” Will said. “I was able to face different kinds of players with different styles and temperaments. I was also able to develop my game in ways to best counter the players I would face. I left it all out on the court and did the best that I could do. I made some mistakes and learned from them.

“I strived to never let my team down and make sure I did everything in my power to help the team win. I have improved a great deal since my freshman year, and I can look back and be satisfied.”

Will said his favorite memories included winning two WPIAL titles and being able to compete in the state tournament.

“Also, the time I spent playing doubles,” he said, “coming away with two WPIAL runner-up medals in doubles and being able to play with close friends Potter Oliver (2019) and Thomas Pangburn (2021).”

Will said his accomplished twin sibling was instrumental in his growth pattern on the tennis court.

“I would like to thank my brother,” Will said. “We are each other’s best coach and hitting partner. We work very hard to elevate each other’s game and the team’s. We both had a great time leading our team.”

Mike and Will Sirianni have been a package deal most of their lives and that won’t stop in college. Both were involved in the Key Club and student council, both are National Honor Society members and graduated with GPAs above 4.0, and both will attend Penn State to study finance.

Both athletes also said their father has been the biggest influence in their tennis careers.

“He would always give me advice and coaching before and after matches,” Will said. “Helping me learn how to win and how to lose, telling me to never quit and to always fight to the last point.”

Mike, like his brother, is grateful for the valuable assistance provided by his father.

“My dad has been the biggest influence to me in tennis and in life.” he said. “For his guidance and support I am most grateful.”

The Sirianni pair helped propel the Quakers to back-to-back WPIAL Class 2A team titles, along with three appearances in the WPIAL finals and PIAA tournament.

QV also won three Midwestern Athletic Conference tournament titles and three section crowns, posting records of 14-4, 1-0, 13-1 and 16-1 over the past four seasons. The Quakers were undefeated against WPIAL competition in the last three seasons.

Will Sirianni clinched the WPIAL championship for QV this year by defeating North Catholic’s Brody Golla, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 2 singles.

“Will got off to an atypical slow start and was down 1-4 before he turned on the jets and won the next five games and the first set,” Hays said. “Will dug deep and showed so much heart, resolve and spirit to pull out the second set and secure the title for us.”

Meanwhile, Hays said the Sirianni twins incorporated an important element into the QV tennis program.

“One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Quality inspires,’” Hays said. “The Sirianni brothers brought quality to every practice and match. They both quietly provided a spirit and morale that was contagious. There was no question they were the heart of the team the minute they joined the program.

“Chemistry and hierarchy on a team can sometimes be challenging but is so important. Their calm presence made a big difference as they were able to bridge the gap between different groups. Upperclassmen respected them and the underclassmen looked up to them.”

It seems the Sirianni brothers let their actions on the court do their talking for the most part.

“Both were quiet leaders, valued teammates and highly respected opponents,” Hays said. “Except for the Houghton family era of Quaker Valley tennis back in the early 2000s, I don’t know of any two players who have contributed more to QV boys tennis.”


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