WPIAL Reveals 2022 Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships Brackets

Monday, October 3, 2022

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) revealed its brackets for the WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships on Monday afternoon, with a total of 62 student-athletes qualifying through section tournaments held from September 28-29.

Student-athletes competed in four different sections in the 3A classifications and five different sections in the 2A classification. The top four duos in the 3A sections punched their tickets to the WPIAL Championships, while the top three pairings in the 2A brackets earned qualification.

A total of 23 student-athletes return to the WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships after qualifying in 2021, including five exact duos. 27 student-athletes in all have previous WPIAL Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships experience.

Last season, Greater Latrobe’s Jenna Bell and Carolina Walters were victorious in 3A with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Shady Side Academy’s Elana Sobol and Rachel Nath. In 2A, Knoch’s Emily and Lindsey Greb defeated Sewickley Academy’s Kirsten Close and Roshni Thakkar, 6-4, 6-3.

The WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships will be held on October 6-7. The first round through semifinals will be held at both Bethel Park High School and North Allegheny High School (2A only) on October 6, and all finals and consolation finals will be held at Bethel Park on October 7.

Below is a recap of each section tournament and the student-athletes that qualified for the WPIAL Championships.

LINK: 2022 WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine 3A Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships Bracket
LINK: 2022 WPIAL/UPMC Sports Medicine 2A Girls’ Tennis Doubles Championships Bracket

SECTION 1-3A [Results]
It was an all-Franklin Regional final in Section 1-3A, with the duo of junior Ellen Liu and senior Hannah Zheng defeating sophomore Lucy Zheng and freshman Michelle Yan in three sets (2-6, 6-3, 6-1). Liu and Hannah Zheng lost just one set en route to the championship match, knocking off Penn-Trafford’s Nicole Poulos and Katie McKenzie (10-0), Armstrong’s Melissa Spohn and Gabriella Dobransky (10-1), and Kiski Area’s Ambur Orowitz and Lexi Colianni (6-0, 6-0). In the third-place consolation match, Greater Latrobe’s Avery Massaro and Taylor Shanefelter – who were knocked off by Lucy Zheng and Yan in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-0 – defeated Orowitz and Colianni, 6-2, 6-1.

Both Liu and Hannah Zheng have previously played in the WPIAL Doubles Championships, but with different partners. Liu lost in the first round in both 2020 and 2021, while Zheng lost her first match in 2019.

Advancing to WPIALs: Ellen Liu (11) / Hannah Zheng (12), Franklin Regional; Lucy Zheng (10) / Michelle Yan (9), Franklin Regional; Avery Massaro (12) / Taylor Shanefelter (9), Greater Latrobe; Ambur Orowitz (11) / Lexi Colianni (12), Kiski Area

SECTION 2-3A [Results]
North Allegheny seniors Emily Wincko and Abbey Swirsding defended their Section 2-3A doubles title, winning 6-1, 6-0 over Mars juniors Cece Crowley and Reese Hanna. Wincko and Swirsding first defeated Mars’s Claire Magness and Carla Genevro, 10-0, knocked off Seneca Valley’s Anna Winland and Bridget Elms, 10-1, before reaching the championship match with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Pine-Richland’s Lily Hynds and Rachel Smith. Hynds and Smith took third place with a three-set victory (1-6, 6-0, 7-5) over North Hills’s Elli Kim and Anna Tikhomirova.

Wincko and Swirsding finished fourth in last year’s WPIAL Doubles Championships, with Wincko also adding an appearance from 2020. Crowley also qualified in 2021, falling in the first round.

Advancing to WPIALs: Emily Wincko (12) / Abbey Swirsding (12), North Allegheny; Cece Crowley (11) / Reese Hanna (11), Mars; Lily Hynds (11) / Rachel Smith (11), Pine-Richland; Ellie Kim (9) / Anna Tikhomirova (11), North Hills

SECTION 3-3A [Results]
The Shady Side Academy duo of junior Rachel Nath and senior Nichole Poltinnikov claimed the Section 3-3A championship by defeating Fox Chapel freshman Chanel Brun and sophomore Sienna Siegel in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1. Nath and Poltinnikov started their tournament with a bye, defeated Fox Chapel’s Sophie Carvelli and Diya Reddy by a 10-3 score in the quarterfinals, before needing a three-set comeback (4-6, 6-3, 6-2) over Baldwin’s Gabi Moder and Emma Overlingas in the semifinals. Shady Side Academy’s Maya Leyzarovich and Lizzie Uhlman then knocked off Moder and Overlingas in the third-place consolation match, 7-5, 6-2.

Nath finished runner-up last season with Elana Sobol and appeared in the 2020 tournament. Moder and Overlingas teamed up with each other in last year’s version, falling in the first round, while Leyzarovich was a qualifier in 2020.

Advancing to WPIALs: Rachel Nath (11) / Nichole Poltinnikov (12), Shady Side Academy; Chanel Brun (9) / Sienna Siegel (10), Fox Chapel; Maya Leyzarovich (12) / Lizzie Uhlman (11), Shady Side Academy; Gabi Moder (11) / Emma Overlingas (12), Baldwin

SECTION 4-3A [Results]
Upper St. Clair junior Evie Ellenberger and senior Claire Loomis captured a second Section 4-3A doubles championship, defeating Mt. Lebanon junior Sophia Cunningham and sophomore Sylvie Eriksen in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Ellenberger and Loomis started with two 10-3 wins over West Allegheny’s Kayla Hay and Rose DiStefano and Mt. Lebanon’s Carly Grant and Michelle Yang, then outlasted Bethel Park’s Lily Sierka and Katie Peterson in three sets (3-6, 6-2, 7-5) to reach the final. Sierka and Peterson were 6-2, 6-2 winners over Peters Township’s Adisyn and Keiran Moorhead in the third-place consolation match.

Six student-athletes, including two duos, are holdovers from the 2021 WPIAL Doubles Championships. Both Ellenberger and Loomis as well as Sierka and Peterson went 1-1 in last year’s bracket, while Cunningham and Adisyn Moorhead fell in the first round.

Advancing to WPIALs: Evie Ellenberger (11) / Claire Loomis (12), Upper St. Clair; Sophia Cunningham (11), Sylvie Eriksen (10), Mt. Lebanon; Lily Sierka (11) / Katie Peterson (11), Bethel Park; Adisyn Moorhead (12) / Keiran Moorhead (10), Peters Township

SECTION 1-2A [Results]
The team of sophomore Sasha Hoffman and senior Gigi Pediconi led Greensburg Central Catholic to the Section 1-2A doubles title, as they defeated Valley seniors Elisabeth Ervin and Marissa Barca, 7-5, 6-2, in the championship match. Hoffman and Pediconi didn’t drop a single set to Greensburg Salem’s Maddie Resnick and Anya Shilobod and Southmoreland’s Alyson Gabroko and Eva Martin, but needed three sets (6-1, 5-7, 6-1) to knock off Indiana’s Anna Buterbaugh and Tess Kuzneski in the semifinals. Mt. Pleasant’s Sophia Smithnosky and Emily Marne claimed the final WPIAL Doubles Championships spot with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Buterbaugh and Kuzneski.

Smithnosky is the only student-athlete from Section 1-2A to previously play in the WPIAL Doubles Championships, falling in the first round as a freshman in 2019.

Advancing to WPIALs: Sasha Hoffman (10) / Gigi Pediconi (12), Greensburg Central Catholic; Elisabeth Ervin (12) / Marissa Barca (12), Valley; Sophia Smithnosky (12) / Emily Marne (12), Mt. Pleasant

SECTION 2-2A [Results]
Chartiers Valley sophomore Kaitlyn Kuczinski and freshman Delaney Fox took home the Section 2-2A championship, defeating South Park senior Haley Spitznagel and freshman Grace Kempton by a 7-5, 6-4 decision. Kuczinski and Fox received a bye in the first round, then defeated Avella’s Emily Devenney and Jasmine Amaya-Diaz, 10-2, and South Park’s Ava Rongaus and Larissa Mannheimer in straight sets (6-0, 6-1) to qualify for the final. Rongaus and Mannheimer were 6-3, 7-6(2) victors over Chartiers Valley’s Milla Kanakchieva and Mackenzie Maga in the third-place consolation match to punch their ticket to the WPIAL Doubles Championships.

Spitznagel will be making her fourth WPIAL Doubles Championships appearance. She finished second in 2020 when she teamed up with Nicole Kempton, and advanced to the quarterfinals last season.

Advancing to WPIALs: Kaitlyn Kuczinski (10) / Delaney Fox (9), Chartiers Valley; Haley Spitznagel (12) / Grace Kempton (9), South Park; Ava Rongaus (12) / Larissa Mannheimer (11), South Park

SECTION 3-2A [Results]
The Knoch pair of senior Ally Bauer and junior Lindsey Greb captured the Section 3-2A crown with a 6-3, 6-1 win over teammates Ava Santora and Jade Nether. Bauer and Greb started the tournament with a bye, followed by a 10-0 win over Burrell’s Alyssa Logut and Madison Grethoffer, and a 6-3, 6-0 triumph against Hampton’s Grace Stitt and Heidi Kroenberg. Stitt and Kroenberg defeated North Catholic’s Riley Pylant and Katie Hardy, 6-3, 7-6(4), in the third-place consolation match to grab the final qualifier spot.

Greb and Bauer both have won the WPIAL Doubles Championships, but this is their first tournament playing as partners. Greb joined her older sister Emily last year and swept the WPIAL and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) titles, while Bauer won with older sister Brooke in 2020 – taking second at the PIAA Championships – and with Libby Conlon as a freshman in 2019.

Santora and Nether went 1-1 as doubles partners in last year’s tournament, with Santora also making the quarterfinals in 2020. Stitt fell in the first round in the 2021 3A bracket.

Advancing to WPIALs: Ally Bauer (12) / Lindsey Greb (11), Knoch; Ava Santora (11) / Jade Nether (11), Knoch; Grace Stitt (10) / Heidi Kroenberg (12), Hampton

SECTION 4-2A [Results]
Beaver junior Chloe DeSanzo and freshman Anna Mrkonja claimed gold in Section 4-2A, defeating Sewickley Academy sophomore Rayna Thakkar and junior Gwyn Belt in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. DeSanzo and Mrkonja didn’t drop a set on their way to the championship match, knocking off Riverview’s Lauren Bush and Meredith Cole (10-0) and Neshannock’s Elena Noga and Lindsey Urban (6-0, 6-0). Central Valley’s Rachel Hardek and Lana Gagne defeated Noga and Urban in the third-place consolation match, 6-1, 6-0, to enter the WPIAL bracket.

DeSanzo finished fourth last season with Fiona Rubino, and reached the quarterfinals in 2020. Thakkar was a quarterfinalist in 2021, while Gagne and Hardek qualified in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Advancing to WPIALs: Chloe DeSanzo (11) / Anna Mrkonja (9), Beaver; Rayna Thakkar (10) / Gwyn Belt (11), Sewickley Academy; Rachel Hardek (11) / Lana Gagne (12), Central Valley

SECTION 5-2A [Results]
Montour junior Peja Cruise and senior Chloe Sadowski came back from a set down to win the Section 5-2A championship, defeating Quaker Valley sophomore Joyce Olawaiye and senior Loren Barnes by a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 scoreline. Cruise and Sadowski won 10-0 over Ambridge’s Emily Deane and Avery Kelly after a first-round bye, then knocked off Keystone Oaks’ Polia Vladeva and Julia Samarin, 6-4, 6-2, to make the final. Vladeva and Samarin won in three sets (2-6, 6-0, 6-4) over Montour’s Mackenzie Frederick and Samantha Boyle in the third-place consolation match to qualify for the WPIAL Doubles Championships.

Cruise is making her third WPIAL Doubles Championships appearance, with a best finish of third last year alongside partner Madilyn Rimbey. She was a quarterfinalist in 2020.

Advancing to WPIALs: Peja Cruise (11) / Chloe Sadowski (12), Montour; Joyce Olawaiye (10), Loren Barnes (12), Quaker Valley; Polia Vladeva (12) / Julia Samarin (11), Keystone Oaks

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