Shady Side, Sewickley roll to boys tennis crowns

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In WPIAL boys tennis, the only safer bet than Shady Side Academy winning the Class AAA title is Sewickley Academy winning the Class AA title.

The Indians-Panthers parlay paid out again Thursday.

Shady Side Academy won consecutive WPIAL Class AAA titles and its third in four years by defeating North Allegheny, 5-0, at Pine-Richland High School.

And in Class AA, Sewickley Academy won its 10th consecutive WPIAL crown by beating Mars, 4-1, at North Allegheny High School.

"It's so exciting," Shady Side Academy junior Chris Grubbs said. "Everyone played amazing and this is what we worked the whole offseason and all school year for."

But it wasn't as easy for Shady Side Academy.

The Indians got off to a 2-0 lead as Eric Grubbs and Cooper Kann won at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, in straight sets.

But the Tigers won the first set in the other three matches before the Indians rallied.

Chris Grubbs and freshman Michael Kann clinched the match for the Indians when they defeated Tomas Monti and Eric Huang, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles.

"We knew Eric and Cooper both won pretty quickly, so we knew we only needed to take one of the next three," Grubbs said. "We figured, let's make it our match. Let's be the one that finishes first."

Alok Nimgaonkar got the win at No. 1 singles and Henry Cohen and Naveen Jain picked up a three-set victory at No. 2 doubles to complete the sweep.

"It was very close," Indians coach Tom Mercer said. "All three of those matches could have gone the other way."

While Shady Side Academy has gone on a nice run over the past few years, they can't hold a candle to the streak by Sewickley Academy.

Since Class AA was created for boys tennis in 1993, the Panthers have won 18 of the 21 WPIAL championships.

"It means a lot," senior four-year starter Colin Kaye said. "This was one of our expectations for the season and I'm glad we could win it."

Mars, on the other hand, was appearing in the WPIAL final for the first time since 1999 with a starting lineup comprised of four freshmen, two sophomores and a junior.

Ninth-grader Josh Raymundo picked up the Planets' lone win at No. 1 singles.

Joining the four WPIAL finalists at the PIAA team tournament next week will be Vincentian, which qualified for the PIAA by beating Quaker Valley, 3-2, in the Class AA consolation match.

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