WPIAL Announces 2022 Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships Brackets
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) announced its brackets for the WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships on Tuesday afternoon, with a total of 31 student-athletes qualifying through section tournaments held from September 14-15.
Student-athletes competed in four different sections in the 3A classifications and five different sections in the 2A classification. The top four finishers in the 3A sections punched their tickets to the WPIAL Championships, while the top three in the 2A brackets earned qualification.
Eight student-athletes return to the WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships after qualifying in 2021, including the 3A third-place finisher and the top four finishers in 2A. 10 student-athletes in all have previous WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships experience.
Last season, Bethel Park’s Mia Gorman captured the 3A title with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Peters Township’s Kat Wang, and Sewickley Academy’s Ashley Close defeated Knoch’s Ally Bauer by a 6-3, 6-3 scoreline to win gold in 2A.
The WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships will be held on September 21-22. The first round through semifinals will be held at both Bethel Park High School and North Allegheny High School (3A only) on September 21, and all finals and consolation finals will be held at Bethel Park on September 22.
Below is a recap of each section tournament and the student-athletes that qualified for the WPIAL Championships.
SECTION 1-3A [Results]
Penn-Trafford freshman Amelia Williams completed a perfect debut in the Section 1-3A tournament by winning all her sets over the course of the bracket, headlined by 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Greater Latrobe senior Avery Massaro in the championship match. Williams won her first two matches by 10-0 scores, then knocked off Greater Latrobe freshman Taylor Shanefelter (6-0, 6-0) to reach the final. Massaro was a 7-5, 6-3 semifinal winner over Franklin Regional junior Ellen Liu. Liu defeated Shanefelter in the third-place consolation match, 6-4, 6-2.
Liu is the lone qualifier from Section 1-3A to previously appear in the WPIAL Singles Championships, falling in the first round of last season’s edition.
Advancing to WPIALs: Amelia Williams (9), Penn-Trafford; Avery Massaro (12), Greater Latrobe; Ellen Liu (11), Franklin Regional; Taylor Shanefelter (9), Greater Latrobe
SECTION 2-3A [Results]
In an all-North Allegheny final, junior Sara Fernandez claimed the Section 2-3A title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over senior Emily Wincko. Fernandez punched her ticket to the final with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Pine-Richland sophomore Kendall Kirkland, while Wincko topped North Hills freshman Ellie Kim in the semifinals, 7-5, 6-3. Kim needed three sets (3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2) to earn a comeback win over Kirkland in the third-place consolation match.
Wincko is the only student-athlete from Section 2-3A to previously play in the WPIAL Singles Championships, as she qualified and was defeated in the first round of the 2020 and 2021 versions.
The league has been notified that the Section 2-3A fourth-place finisher, Pine-Richland sophomore Kendall Kirkland, will not be participating in the WPIAL 3A Singles Championships.
Advancing to WPIALs: Sara Fernandez (11), North Allegheny; Emily Wincko (12), North Allegheny; Ellie Kim (9), North Hills
SECTION 3-3A [Results]
Shady Side Academy senior Nichole Poltinnikov punched her ticket to her second WPIAL Singles Championships in emphatic fashion, as she collected a 6-0, 6-3 win over Oakland Catholic sophomore Adelaide Kreutel to win the Section 3-3A title. Poltinnikov qualified for the championship match with a 7-5, 6-3 decision over Baldwin junior Gabi Moder, while Kreutel defeated Fox Chapel sophomore Sienna Siegel, 6-3, 6-2, in the other semifinal. Moder was a 6-4, 6-0 win against Siegel in the third-place consolation match.
Poltinnikov previously qualified for the 2020 WPIAL Singles Championships, ultimately falling in the first round.
Advancing to WPIALs: Nichole Poltinnikov (12), Shady Side Academy; Adelaide Kreutel (10), Oakland Catholic; Gabi Moder (11), Baldwin; Sienna Siegel (10), Fox Chapel
SECTION 4-3A [Results]
After a fourth-place finish in 2019 and a third-place effort in 2021, Upper St. Clair senior Maggie Stief was victorious in her final Section 4-3A tournament with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Mt. Lebanon junior Sophia Cunningham. Stief won 7-5, 6-3 over teammate Evie Ellenberger in the semifinals, while Cunningham made the championship match with a three-set triumph (6-1, 3-6, 6-3) over Bethel Park junior Lily Sierka. Sierka knocked off Ellenberger in the third-place consolation match, 6-2, 6-3.
Stief will be making her third WPIAL Singles Championships appearance, previously qualifying in 2019 and 2021. The senior claimed bronze last season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Greater Latrobe’s Jenna Bell in the third-place consolation match, qualifying herself for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) 3A Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships.
Advancing to WPIALs: Maggie Stief (12), Upper St. Clair; Sophia Cunningham (11), Mt. Lebanon; Lily Sierka (11), Bethel Park; Evie Ellenberger (11), Upper St. Clair
SECTION 1-2A [Results]
Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Sasha Hoffman captured the Section 1-2A gold with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Mt. Pleasant senior Sophia Smithnosky. Hoffman duplicated her scoreline from the semifinal, as she made the championship match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Derry junior Danielle Dominick, and Smithnosky was a 6-0, 6-3 winner over Valley senior Elisabeth Ervin to reach the final. Ervin claimed the final qualifier spot with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Dominick in the third-place consolation match.
All three qualifiers from Section 1-2A will be making their debuts in the WPIAL Singles Championships.
Advancing to WPIALs: Sasha Hoffman (10), Greensburg Central Catholic; Sophia Smithnosky (12), Mt. Pleasant; Elisabeth Ervin (12), Valley
SECTION 2-2A [Results]
South Park senior Nicole Kempton completed a sectional title career sweep, winning her fourth in four years with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Chartiers Valley sophomore Kaitlin Kuczinski in Section 2-2A. Kempton – who previously won in 2019, 2020, and 2021 – knocked off Belle Vernon freshman Gabriella Dusi in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-0, while Kuczinski topped Kempton’s teammate Haley Spitznagel in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Dusi was a 6-0, 6-0 victor over Spitznagel in the third-place consolation match to qualify for the WPIAL Singles Championships.
Kempton has placed inside the top three in each of her previous three WPIAL Singles Championships appearances, finishing third in 2019 and 2021 and second in 2020. The finishes in 2019 and 2021 qualified her for the PIAA 2A Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships in those seasons.
Advancing to WPIALs: Nicole Kempton (12), South Park; Kaitlin Kuczinski (10), Chartiers Valley; Gabriella Dusi (9), Belle Vernon
SECTION 3-2A [Results]
In a rematch of last season’s all-Knoch Section 3-2A final, junior Emily Greb swapped places with senior Ally Bauer with a 7-5, 6-0 win over her teammate. Greb qualified for her third consecutive Section 3-2A championship match with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Aquinas Academy junior Victoria Taylor, while Bauer – the 2021 Section 3-2A champion – won 6-2, 6-1 against Hampton sophomore Grace Stitt. Stitt defeated Taylor in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) in the third-place consolation match to claim the final WPIAL Singles Championships qualifier spot.
Greb is making her third WPIAL Singles Championships appearance, while Bauer will appear in her second. Bauer finished second in 2021 and moved onto the PIAA 2A Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships, and Greb placed fourth (2021) and third (2020) in her last two WPIAL tournaments.
Advancing to WPIALs: Emily Greb (11), Knoch; Ally Bauer (12), Knoch; Grace Stitt (10), Hampton
SECTION 4-2A [Results]
The Section 4-2A final featured the reigning champions in both Section 4-2A and Section 5-2A, with Sewickley Academy junior Ashley Close claiming a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Beaver junior Chloe DeSanzo. Close – last year’s Section 5-2A winner – knocked off Central Valley junior Rachel Hardek, 6-1, 6-0, to qualify for the championship match, while DeSanzo needed three sets (1-6, 7-5, 6-2) to defeat Sewickley Academy sophomore Kirsten Close in the semifinals. Kirsten Close won 6-0, 6-1 over Hardek in the third-place consolation match to earn the last WPIAL Singles Championships ticket.
Ashley Close is the reigning champion of the WPIAL 2A Girls’ Tennis Singles Championships, having won 6-3, 6-3 over the aforementioned Bauer in last year’s tournament. She also qualified for the 2020 tournament but was unable to compete due to injury. DeSanzo reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 WPIAL Singles Championships, picking up a 10-3 win over Spitznagel in the first round.
Advancing to WPIALs: Ashley Close (11), Sewickley Academy; Chloe DeSanzo (11), Beaver; Kirsten Close (10), Sewickley Academy
SECTION 5-2A [Results]
Winchester Thurston sophomore Cecilia Gurgel captured the Section 5-2A championship with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Montour junior Peja Cruise. Gurgel defeated Quaker Valley sophomore Joyce Olawaiye in the semifinals, while Cruise won in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart sophomore Therese Bernas to qualify for the final. Olawaiye nabbed the final WPIAL Singles Championships spot in the third-place consolation match with a 6-2, 6-3 decision against Bernas.
Cruise is the only student-athlete from Section 5-2A to previously compete in the WPIAL Singles Championships, having done so as a freshman in 2020. She reached the quarterfinals that season, thanks to a 10-2 win over Mt. Pleasant’s Mary Smithnosky in the opening round.
Advancing to WPIALs: Cecilia Gurgel (10), Winchester Thurston; Peja Cruise (11), Montour; Joyce Olawaiye (10), Quaker Valley