Trib HSSN rewind: A look back at the 2018 girls tennis season
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 | 7:28 PM
The Sewickley Academy girls tennis team had won its only previous Class AA state championship in 2011, and the Panthers were gunning for a second title in Hershey to cap the 2018 season.
That title seven years prior also was the only other time the school had reached the championship match.
Led by the team’s lone senior, Alina Mattson, the two-time reigning WPIAL champion topped District 3 champion Wyomissing, 3-2, to claim the championship.
Sophomore Simran Bedi, at second singles, earned the final point to put the Panthers over the top in the title match.
Mattson, along with her first doubles partner Victoria Keller, a sophomore, rallied to score the decisive point in a 3-2 semifinal victory over District 1 champion Lower Moreland to propel Sewickley Academy into the title match.
Sewickley Academy finished its season undefeated. It blanked its first two PIAA opponents after winning 19 of 20 points in four matches in the WPIAL tournament.
North Allegheny’s quest for back-to-back PIAA Class AAA team titles and its fifth in six years fell short as the WPIAL champion bowed out to District 1 runner-up Conestoga in the semifinals.
The Tigers shut out City League champion Brashear in the first round and outlasted District 1 No. 3 West Chester Henderson in the quarterfinals.
North Allegheny earned the WPIAL’s top seed with four WPIAL-tournament victories, including a 3-2 triumph over Shady Side Academy in the finals.
Individually, North Allegheny’s Ashley Huang and Knoch’s Laura Greb captured WPIAL Class AAA and AAA singles titles, respectively.
Huang, a Cornell commit, came close to defending her PIAA Class AAA singles championship, but the Tigers senior dropped a close three-set finals match to North Penn’s Neha Velaga.
Greb, a sophomore, went on to win a pair of matches in the Class AA state tournament before falling in the semifinals.
Shady Side Academy’s Ella Santora and Aya Youssef claimed the WPIAL Class AAA doubles title and placed fourth at states.
Beaver’s Devyn Campbell and Anna Blum hoisted the WPIAL Class AA doubles first-place trophy and also capped their run at states fourth overall.
It was the first time since the PIAA split girls tennis into Class AAA and AA in 1998 that no WPIAL singles or doubles teams won a state championship.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .