PIAA Tennis: Showing their medal
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After winning the WPIAL title in their respective tournaments, Mt. Lebanon's Callie Frey and the Peters Township duo of Sara Komer and Abby Cummings went to Hershey hoping to carry on the tradition of Class AAA players from the WPIAL performing well at states.
All three came back to the district with medals.
Komer and Cummings won the PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament title, while Frey was the runner-up in the PIAA Class AAA singles tournament.
For Komer, it was her second consecutive state championship in doubles. She won the title as a freshman in 2011 with Stephanie Smith.
"It's a big accomplishment," Peters Township coach Brandt Bowman said. "Especially since she wasn't 100 percent all year with her hamstring injury.
"It shows what kind of player she is. She not only plays the baseline well, but she is aggressive around the net. She plays the net so well and a lot of girls don't like to do that.
"She can play anywhere on the court and I think that translates well to doubles."
Cummings, also a sophomore, was coming off her own injury. She had surgery on her hip in the offseason, her second surgery in two years.
She didn't return to the court until a month before the season.
Bowman said Komer's injury actually helped Cummings, because it allowed her to play No. 3 singles at the start of the season instead of doubles.
When Komer returned, Cummings had rounded into form and was able to keep her No. 3 singles spot through a challenge with Komer's sister, Vida.
Cummings excelled in the No. 3 spot in the playoffs, going 8-0 during the Indians' run to their second state team title in a row.
With Komer already having established herself as one of the top doubles players in the state, teams went after Cummings and she responded.
"She held up so well," Bowman said. "She has a really big forehand, she served very well and she is not afraid to be around the net. You don't win a doubles title without both playing well. She played great."
To win the title, Komer and Cummings had to beat Oakland Catholic's Megan Wasson and Nicole Cyterski in a rematch of the WPIAL championship match. Although the Peters' duo only lost two games in the first matchup, it was pushed by the Eagles' pair Saturday before winning 6-4, 6-3.
It was the second season in a row Komer faced another WPIAL team in the state doubles final. Last season, it was Mt. Lebanon's Frey and Annie Baich who lost in straight sets.
Frey also was the No. 1 singles player for the Blue Devils' runner-up team in 2010.
"She has had an impressive three years," Mt. Lebanon coach Ginny Chambers said. "She's been the runner-up in team, doubles and now singles. There aren't too many that have been to the state finals in every different event in their first three years."
Frey, a junior, won her first two matches of the PIAA singles tournament easily, never losing more than two games in a set.
But in the semifinals against Harriton's Hannah Drayton, Frey fell behind early in the first set, 3-0. But she battled back to win the next six games to take the set. She then won the second set, 6-2, to advance to the finals to face Cristina Kaiser, the 2011 state singles runner-up from Plymouth-Whitemarsh.
The two split the first 10 games of the first set, but Kaiser took the final two to win, 7-5. Kaiser then won a competitive second set, 6-3, to win the title. It was only the second time in the past 10 years that a non-WPIAL player won the PIAA Class AAA singles title.
"The girl in the finals was really good," Frey said. "It was a pretty close first set, but I think what messed me up was my serve. Overall, I think we both played pretty well."
It ended a great season for Frey, who won a WPIAL singles title and hadn't loss all season until facing Kaiser.
"I had a good year," Frey said. "I never thought I would win a WPIAL title, but hopefully next season I can get that first state title."
First Published November 9, 2012 12:00 am