Golden Tigers advance
For the second time in program history, the Hollidaysburg Area High School boys tennis team has made it into the PIAA final eight.
Nick Viduya and David Auerbeck defeated Dallastown’s Jack Lynam and Noah May, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 1 doubles to clinch the Golden Tigers’ 3-1 victory over the District 3 runner-up in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A team tournament on Tuesday afternoon at Gorilla House Gym.
“What an incredible feeling to make it to the final eight in the state,” Hollidaysburg coach Brian Denis said. “We knew going into this year that this could be a very special and memorable year. To advance to Hershey, being by far the smallest school still alive, and competing with the elite big schools in the state is such and honor for these kids.”
The Tigers won two of the three singles matches to get within a team point of the victory. After Dallastown’s Holden Koons downed Tiger No. 1 Rami Alkhafaji, 6-0, 6-2, Hollidaysburg’s Rohan Gupta posted a 6-3, 6-0 win over Jonathan Burns at No. 2, and Anthony Menard notched a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Sebastian May at No. 3.
“We went out there and battled hard, not just for ourselves, but for each other,” Gupta said. “This team mentality is what propelled us to victory today and what sets us apart from other teams in the state. We are going to bring the same mindset to our next match.”
Menard was down 5-4 in the first set but broke May’s serve and went on to score the team point.
“We knew all along that winning this match would not be easy. Everyone on the team stepped up today and did what needed to be done in order to win,” Menard said.
Hollidaysburg’s Will Tyndall and John Rose had just taken the first set at No. 2 doubles. 7-6, when Viduya and Auerbeck closed out the match.
The Golden Tigers will play Council Rock North — a 4-0 winner over Liberty — in the quarterfinals on Friday morning at the Hershey Racquet Club.
“We want to head to Hershey and give it our best and see how things play out,” Denis said. “This is maybe our best opportunity to make the state semifinals for the first time in program history, boys or girls. We have absolutely nothing to lose which should allow us to play relaxed and leave it all out on the court.
“I am elated for these kids — to see the joy on their faces the last few weeks has been a great feeling to share it with them.”
SINGLES: 1, Koons, D, def. Alkhafaji, 6-0, 6-2; 2, Gupta, H, def. Burns, 6-3, 6-0; 3, Menard, H, def. S. May, 7-5, 6-3.
DOUBLES: 1, Viduya-Auerbeck, H, def. Lynam-N. May, 6-1, 6-0; 2, Tyndall-Rose, H, led Villani-Koons, D, 7-6, susp.
Records: Dallastown (14-2); Hollidaysburg (18-0).
JOHNSTOWN — Bedford took two of the three singles matches to a third set, but the Bisons weren’t quite able to seal the deal, sustaining their first loss of the year in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A tournament to Indiana, 4-1, at the North Fork Tennis Club on Tuesday.
“We gave it all we had, and, as the scores show, we were in every match. We lost to a fine Indiana team. My hat goes off to them,” Bedford coach Butch Beidle said.
The doubles tandem of Cole Hampton and Joey Windows scored Bedford’s only team point, recording a 2-6, 6-3, 10-7 victory at No. 2.
Caleb Beidle dropped a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 verdict to Zachary Palko at No. 1 singles, while Luke Dague fell, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, to Giaco Gentile at No. 3. Jess Hampton also made a run at forcing a third set at No. 2 but succumbed to Joey Bujdos, 6-1, 7-5.
Lance Dague and Zach Kachman were on the wrong side of a 6-4, 6-3 score at No. 1 doubles.
The Bisons completed the season 19-1.
SINGLES: 1, Palko, I, def. Beidle, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; 2, Bujdos I, def. J. Hampton, 6-1, 7-5; 3, Gentile, I, def. Lu. Dague 2-6, 6-2, 6-0.
DOUBLES: 1, Lopez-Hernandez/Szep, I, def. Kachman-La. Dague, 6-4, 6-3; 2, Windows-Hampson, B, def. Ray-Affan, 2-6, 6-3, 10-7.
Records: Indiana (13-2); Bedford (19-1).