North Xtra: Fox Chapel girl tops nemeses with aid of new doubles partner

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In 2012, Laurel Shymansky made it to the final of the Fox Chapel USTA Junior Open 18-and-under doubles tournament with partner Lucy Gloniger of Hampton, only to lose to Fox Chapel residents and Oakland Catholic students Megan Wasson and Nicole Cyterski.

Last week, Shymansky again made it to the final of the Fox Chapel USTA Junior Open 18-and-under doubles tournament, and again she was across the net from Wasson and Cyterski.

But this time she had a different partner and got a different result.

Shymansky teamed with Franklin Park resident and North Allegheny senior Kylie Isaacs to win the tournament over the two-time defending champions Cysterski and Wasson, 4-6, 6-4, 10-4.

"[Wasson and Cyterski] are my friends, so I wanted it to be a good match, and it was," said Shymansky, who will be a sophomore this year at Fox Chapel Area High School. "I did want to win, too, though."

Shymansky said she has played in multiple tournaments with Isaacs before and credited her partner's ability for their successful play.

"Kylie is really good," Shymansky said. "I'm pretty consistent and she can put away shots."

Shymansky also had a successful 16-and-under singles tournament, finishing second to Tristyn Maalouf of Wexford.

Laurel wasn't the only Shymansky to excel last week on the Fox Chapel Racquet Club courts.

Laurel's brother, Robert Shymansky, who will be entering eighth grade this school year, teamed with Fox Chapel sophomore Sid Rajupet to take second in the 18-and-under doubles tournament. They lost to 14-year-old Ben Vinarski of Wexford and Latrobe junior Chad Kissell.

Laurel Shymansky said it was her brother's first tournament in a year because of medical problems.

"It was really nice to see him playing again and so well," Laurel Shymansky said.

All together, nine Fox Chapel residents in all age groups advanced to a Fox Chapel Junior Open final in singles or doubles. The event, which is for players ages 8-18, is the largest junior tournament in terms of entries in the state of Pennsylvania over the past decade.

"There are a lot of good pros [in Fox Chapel] and just a lot of good players that work really hard," Laurel Shymansky said.

Other champions who reside in the PG North Xtra area are: Josh Raymundo of Valencia (16-and-under boys singles), Ashley Huang of Franklin Park (12-and-under girls singles and 14-and-under girls doubles), Jenna Kolano of Marshall Township (14-and-under girls doubles) and Ivan Voinov of Franklin Park (14-and-under boys doubles).

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