In 2012, Callie Frey became the first Mt. Lebanon girls tennis player to win a WPIAL singles title since Kelly Kolankiewicz won her third consecutive championship in 1984. Frey enjoyed it so much, she decided to win another Thursday afternoon.
But it wasn't as easy.
The Blue Devils senior rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory against Pine-Richland senior Marlys Bridgham in the WPIAL Class AAA singles tournament championship at North Allegheny High School.
"It feels amazing," said Frey. "I'm so happy to [win back-to-back titles]. I actually met the lady who won 29 years ago. She just saw me play somehow. ... It was cool meeting her."
Frey cruised to a straight-set win in the 2012 district final against her friend, Megan Adamo of Upper St. Clair. But she knew she was in for a battle Thursday against Bridgham, whom Frey beat in three sets in an exhibition a month ago.
Bridgham controlled the action early, breaking the defending champion three times in the first set as Frey was content to sit on the baseline and hammer away groundstrokes.
"The first set I wasn't playing as aggressive as I should have been," said Frey. "The first set, I was just keeping it in the court and not coming in on anything. So I [started attacking the net] in the second and third set, and that's what helped me win."
Frey came out strong in the second set, winning the first five points on her way to evening the match at one set apiece. She carried the momentum into the third, winning five of the first six points.
"She played a great match, and I think when it came to the final set, I don't think I was able to get my head together enough for what she had to offer for her play," said Bridgham, who will join Frey at the PIAA Class AAA singles tournament in Hershey in November.
Just like Frey, Sewickley Academy senior Samantha Gohh came back from losing the first set to win the WPIAL Class AA final, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, against fellow Panthers senior Sydney Miggantz.
"I think I was a little nervous in the first set," said Gohh.
"Sydney was playing really aggressively and making all her shots. She was moving me really well. In the second set, I became more consistent and patient and tried to make her make the mistake and luckily it worked."
It was the second time in the past eight days Gohh beat Miggantz, after the two met in the Class AA Section 6 final last week.
In the section final, Miggantz had to retire after the first set due an ankle injury from the previous day.
Miggantz said her ankle is still very sore, but she was happy she played through the injury so she could oppose her teammate in the final.
"It was honestly the best thing that I could ask for," said Miggantz. "One of us was going to win the championship. We were so glad we got to play each other, and I'm so happy for [Samantha]."
Joining Gohh and Miggantz in Hershey next month will be Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Alyvia Kluska, who won her Class AA consolation match by forfeit against her younger sister, freshman Michaela Kluska.
Franklin Regional sophomore Natalia Perry won the Class AAA consolation match in straight sets against Pine-Richland's Yvon Martinez, but only the top two finishers in Class AAA advance to the state tournament.
First Published September 20, 2013 4:00 AM