Williams, Kempton Become WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Singles Champions

Thursday, September 22, 2022


Bethel Park, Pa. – The first Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) champions of the 2022-2023 academic year were crowned on Thursday at the WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships, held at Bethel Park High School. In the 3A classification, Penn-Trafford freshman Amelia Williams was victorious, while South Park senior Nicole Kempton captured the 2A crown.

Both Williams and Kempton are the first WPIAL girls’ tennis singles champions for their respective schools. Williams is also the fifth freshman to capture gold in singles competition, joining Knoch’s Laura Greb (2017), Greater Latrobe’s Michaela Kissell (2003), Peters Township’s Sarah Riske (1995), and Mt. Lebanon’s Gretchen Rush (1978). Kempton previously finished second in 2020 and third twice (2019, 2021), and had completed a four-year sweep of section championships last week.

The top three finishers in both classifications qualify for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships, which will be held Nov. 4-5.

3A RECAP
Penn-Trafford freshman Amelia Williams started her WPIAL championship career on the highest of notes, defeating Upper St. Clair senior Maggie Stief, 6-1, 6-0, to capture the 3A title. Williams, the top seed, received a bye in the first round yesterday, then knocked off Oakland Catholic sophomore Adelaide Kreutel by a 10-0 score. In her semifinal match, she dispatched of Shady Side Academy senior Nichole Poltinnikov in straight sets (6-1, 6-0).

Stief, the two seed and last year’s third-place finisher, opened tournament play with a 10-6 win over North Hills freshman Ellie Kim, followed by a 10-3 triumph against Bethel Park junior Lily Sierka. A 6-4, 6-3 semifinal win over North Allegheny junior Sara Fernandez punched her ticket to today’s championship match.

In the third-place consolation final, Fernandez defeated Poltinnikov by a 6-3, 6-4 scoreline and earned the final PIAA spot.

As a freshman, Williams was playing in her first WPIAL championship. Stief previously finished third in last year’s tournament, winning a consolation match, 6-4, 6-4 over Greater Latrobe’s Jenna Bell to qualify for the PIAA Championships.

2A RECAP
The fourth time was the charm for South Park senior Nicole Kempton, who knocked off Sewickley Academy junior Ashley Close, 6-2, 6-3, to win the 2A championship. Kempton, the three seed, began the tournament with a 10-2 victory over Quaker Valley sophomore Joyce Olawaiye, then defeated Beaver junior Chloe DeSanzo, 10-1. She qualified for the final with a 6-0, 6-3 triumph against Winchester Thurston sophomore Cecilia Gurgel.

Close, the top seed and reigning 2A champion, received a bye in the first round before starting play with a 10-0 win against Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Sasha Hoffman. She then defeated Knoch senior Ally Bauer by a 6-0, 6-3 scoreline to make her second consecutive final.

In the third-place consolation final, Greb topped Gurgel, 6-2, 6-2, to claim the final PIAA slot.

Kempton finishes her WPIAL singles tournament career with a 12-3 record, capturing a medal in each of her four varsity seasons. Close previously defeated Kempton in 2021 en route to the gold medal and now owns a 6-1 record in WPIAL singles tournament competition.

3A RESULTS [Full Bracket]

First Round – Sept. 21
#1 Amelia Williams (9 – Penn-Trafford) received a BYE.
#8 Adelaide Kreutel (10 – Oakland Catholic) def. #9 Ellen Liu (11 – Franklin Regional), 10-7.
#5 Emily Wincko (12 – North Allegheny) def. #12 Taylor Shanefelter (9 – Greater Latrobe), 10-1.
#4 Nichole Poltinnikov (12 – Shady Side Academy) def. #13 Evie Ellenberger (11 – Upper St. Clair), 10-6.
#3 Sara Fernandez (11 – North Allegheny) def. #14 Sienna Siegel (10 – Fox Chapel), 10-0.
#6 Sophia Cunningham (11 – Mt. Lebanon) def. #11 Gabi Moder (11 – Baldwin), 10-7.
#10 Lily Sierka (11 – Bethel Park) def. #7 Avery Massaro (12 – Greater Latrobe), 10-4.
#2 Maggie Stief (12 – Upper St. Clair) def. #15 Ellie Kim (9 – North Hills), 10-6.

Quarterfinals – Sept. 21
#1 Williams def. #8 Kreutel, 10-0.
#4 Poltinnikov def. #5 Wincko, 10-6.
#3 Fernandez def. #6 Cunningham, 11-10(6).
#2 Stief def. #10 Sierka, 10-3.

Semifinals – Sept. 21
#1 Williams def. #4 Poltinnikov, 6-1, 6-0.
#2 Stief def. #3 Fernandez, 6-4, 6-3.

Championship Match – Sept. 22
#1 Williams def. #3 Stief, 6-1, 6-0.

Third-Place Consolation – Sept. 22
#3 Fernandez def. #4 Poltinnikov, 6-3, 6-4.

Advancing to PIAAs: Amelia Williams (9), Penn-Trafford; Maggie Stief (12), Upper St. Clair; Sara Fernandez (11), North Allegheny

2A RESULTS [Full Bracket]

First Round – Sept. 21
#1 Ashley Close (11 – Sewickley Academy) received a BYE.
#9 Sasha Hoffman (10 – Greensburg Central Catholic) def. #8 Kaitlin Kuczinski (10 – Chartiers Valley), 10-4.
#5 Cecilia Gurgel (10 – Winchester Thurston) def. #12 Grace Stitt (10 – Hampton), 10-6.
#4 Ally Bauer (12 – Knoch) def. #13 Sophia Smithnosky (12 – Mt. Pleasant), 10-0.
#3 Nicole Kempton (12 – South Park) def. #14 Joyce Olawaiye (10 – Quaker Valley), 10-2.
#6 Chloe DeSanzo (11 – Beaver) def. #11 Peja Cruise (11 – Montour), 10-2.
#10 Kirsten Close (10 – Sewickley Academy) def. #7 Gabriella Dusi (9 – Belle Vernon), 10-5.
#2 Emily Greb (11 – Knoch) def. #15 Elisabeth Ervin (12 – Valley), 10-0.

Quarterfinals – Sept. 21
#1 A. Close def. #9 Hoffman, 10-0.
#5 Gurgel def. #4 Bauer, 10-7.
#3 Kempton def. #6 DeSanzo, 10-1.
#2 Greb def. #10 K. Close, 10-4.

Semifinals – Sept. 21
#1 A. Close def. #5 Gurgel, 6-0, 6-3.
#3 Kempton def. #2 Greb, 6-0, 6-3.

Championship Match – Sept. 22
#3 Kempton def. #1 A. Close, 6-2, 6-3.

Third-Place Consolation – Sept. 22
#2 Greb def. #5 Gurgel, 6-2, 6-2.

Advancing to PIAAs: Ashley Close (11), Sewickley Academy; Nicole Kempton (12), South Park; Emily Greb (11), Knoch

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