The Fox Chapel Area girls’ tennis team finished as the silver medalists at the WPIAL Class AAA championship, and now are on their way to the PIAA Class AAA team playoffs. On Oct. 17, the Foxes lost to a talented Peters Township team, 3-2, the only squad that the Fox Chapel Area team lost to in the regular season.
But, as the WPIAL runner-up, the Foxes automatically advance to the PIAA Class AAA playoffs that Oct. 22 in Pittsburgh, at a location yet to be announced. They will play the winner of the City League.
Number one singles player, senior Charlotte James, who is the new WPIAL Class AAA champion and first female in school history to win that title, defeated Peters’ Marra Bruce 6-2, 6-1, in the final round of the WPIAL championship. The Foxes’ Carissa Shepard played her heart out and had a thrilling match, but in the end, she was unable to defeat Kat Wang. The score was 6-4, 0-6, 6-3. The Foxes third singles player, freshman Catherine Petrovich, came through in her first WPIAL finals appearance with a win over Adusyn Moorhead, 6-1, 6-2.
In doubles play, both of the Foxes’ young teams were defeated.
Coach Alex Slezak was proud of the effort the girls put forth and says, “The girls played their hearts out and gave it their best. We have no regrets and left nothing on the table. It was a growth and learning experience that we can take into the state playoffs. I give credit to Charlotte and Catherine because they came through as we needed them to. Carissa’s matchup was much closer than the first time she played Kat earlier in the season, and the doubles teams gave it their all.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” says Coach Slezak. “We’ll keep our ball striking skills sharp and let the losses go to our heads for learning. The wins will give us confidence and we will be mentally ready to be competitors in Hershey, Pa., for the championships.”
Those matches will begin Friday, Oct. 25.