Trib HSSN rewind: A look back at the 2019 boys tennis season

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | 6:08 PM


The streak is over.

The second-longest championship run in WPIAL history quietly ended in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA boys team tennis playoffs when Sewickley Academy lost to Upper St. Clair, 3-2, in May.

The loss ended a 15-year WPIAL championship run by the Panthers, second only to the Bethel Park boys’ swimming title run of 20 straight from 1981 to 2000.

All of the 15 titles for were in Class AA. Prior to the 2018-2019 season, Sewickley Academy officials decided to play up into Class AAA.

“There is a vast difference in the skills and athleticism in triple-A boys tennis,” Sewickley Academy athletic director Win Palmer said. “With the majority of this year’s team returning, the Panthers have completed the first stage toward competing for a WPIAL championship at the triple-A level.”

While the streak has come to an end, it won’t soon be forgotten by the school.

“Everyone at Sewickley Academy is very proud of all of the accomplishments and hard work the boys’ tennis players and coaches have established in winning so many championships in a row at the double-A level,” Palmer said.

The Fox Chapel boys tennis team is putting together its own championship run. The Foxes defeated Shady Side Academy, 3-2, to win a fourth straight WPIAL Class AAA crown.

With Sewickley Academy no longer dominating Class AA, Indiana took advantage with a 3-2 title match win over Quaker Valley for the program’s first district championship. The Little Indians were the first team not named Sewickley Academy to win Class AA gold since Quaker Valley in 2003.

It also was another golden season for Robby Shymansky of Fox Chapel.

First, he won his second straight WPIAL Class AAA singles championship with a 6-0, 6-1 win over David Missry of Allderdice.

Then, he went on to win the PIAA singles state title with a thrilling 7-6 (7-0), 4-6, 6-3 win over Sameer Gangoli of Great Valley.

A pair of duos that ended up splitting gold and silver this spring first faced off in the WPIAL Class AAA doubles finals where Naman Dua and Colin Gramley of Shady Side Academy beat Connor Bruce and Elian Ascencio of Peters Township, 6-4, 6-3, for their second straight district championship.

The two teams would meet again in the PIAA finals, with Bruce and Ascencio bringing home the gold with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

In the Class AA singles, Indiana’s Zachary Palko defeated top seed Yash Maheshwari of Thomas Jefferson, 6-2, 6-2.

Zach Alberts and John Watters beat Potter Oliver and Will Sirianni in an all-Quaker Valley championship match 6-3, 6-2.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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