South Xtra: Despite attrition, Peters keeps rolling

HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS

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With Sara Komer playing No. 1 singles and her older sister, Vida, playing No. 1 doubles, the Peters Township girls tennis team won its fourth state title in seven years last fall.

Vida graduated and Sara, now a junior, decided to play amateur tennis while also joining the Indians volleyball team. But Peters Township wasn't left without a Komer.

"We may have lost two Komers but we gained one," Peters Township coach Brandt Bowman said.

Anna Komer, a freshman, has taken over Sara's No. 1 spot.

Anna Komer has lost just once in four matches and Bowman sees similarities between her game and Sara's.

"Sara is taller, she wasn't 6 feet, but probably 5-10 or 5-11, and she had a real aggressive game and a good serve.

"Anna is not as tall, I'd say she's 5-8, but she has a pretty good serve and she's fairly aggressive. I can see some similarities between her and Sara."

Sara Komer was a two-time PIAA Class AAA doubles champion, winning with Stephanie Smith in 2011 and Abby Cummings last season.

Cummings was the team's No. 3 singles player last season as a sophomore, but like Komer, decided not to play high school tennis this season so she could train and play the amateur circuit.

Bowman said both players could possibly return for their senior seasons. But the talent well is not empty at Peters.

"Depth has always been one of our strengths," Bowman said. "There usually are a lot of players who don't start for us but would start on other varsity teams."

Chloe Grzyb, the team's No. 2 singles player as a freshman last season, is in the same spot this season. Junior Carlye Campagna saw time in the lineup last season when Sara Komer was out with an injury and she now occupies the No. 3 singles spot.

Junior Jen Holcombe played No. 1 doubles with Vida Komer last season and returns to the same spot to play with sophomore Megan Hixon, a starter at No. 2 doubles in 2012.

The No. 2 doubles position is currently occupied by senior Jenn Stroyne and junior Meredith Rohn. But junior Morgan Parisi, who started at No. 2 doubles last season, is working her way back from an ankle injury and figures to be in the mix for a starting doubles spot when she returns.

The Indians have started the season winning six of their seven matches, the lone loss a 4-1 non-section decision against North Allegheny.

Peters Township won the No. 1 doubles match in straight sets and won the first set at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles against the Tigers, but was unable to close out either match. North Allegheny, who Bowman considers to be the favorite right now in WPIAL Class AAA, was missing its No. 1 singles player Maddy Adams.

In addition to the Tigers, the Indians will play Upper St. Clair, Sewickley Academy, Fox Chapel and Mt. Lebanon in non-section matches to try to prepare for the postseason.

"We should improve as the season goes on with some of our inexperienced players at No. 2 doubles and Carlye hasn't had a lot of experience at No. 3 singles," Bowman said. "Those girls should get more comfortable as the season goes on and we've put together a tough non-section schedule."

With a relatively young roster in 2012, the Indians played a difficult schedule, too. Peters Township lost to Mt. Lebanon in the regular season, only to beat the Blue Devils in the WPIAL semifinals on its way to the WPIAL and PIAA titles.

So despite the team's youth and the early loss to North Allegheny, the goals remain high for Peters Township.

"Our goals remain the same as they are every year," Bowman said.

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