Tennis team has success collectively and individually


Natalie Spears

The Shaler Area Boys Tennis team faced many competitive matches this year leading them to have an overall record of 6 wins and 4 losses. The team was able to clinch some of their crucial wins because of their driven singles players and hardworking doubles teams. Although the team suffered some losses, they learned from them and improved their play.

“Our progress can be measured in our losses,” head coach Brian Duermeyer said. “We played great against South Fayette (one of the top teams in AAA), Allderdice, and Central Catholic. Each of those matches was closer than ever, and the scores from them do not tell the story of how close we were to being a playoff team from Class AAA Section three.”

The match against Central Catholic was the key to making it to the playoffs. Coach Duermeyer knew this would be a tough match because Central is usually a playoff team. The match lasted over an hour, and the boys looked like they were going to finish with a win. Unfortunately, they ended up losing at the very end of the match due to a few shots not going the way the team had wanted.

“Despite the loss, I was really proud of how we competed against the toughest teams on our schedule,” Coach Duermeyer said. “This was the most talented boys team we have had in years, and our play proved that.”

Notably, the team’s No. 1 singles player, senior Cam Szazynski, was a big part of the wins that the team earned this season. Szazynski qualified for the WPIAL singles tournament this year, where he was able to play against some of the top players in the state. He finished fourth in the tournament, which allowed him to attend the PIAA tournament.

I was really proud of how we competed against the toughest teams on our schedule. This was the most talented boys team we have had in years, and our play proved that.

— Mr. Brian Duermeyer

“It has been decades since we had a player advance to that stage,” Coach Duermeyer said.

Another one of the team’s seniors, Connor Allen, played at No. 2 singles this year. He faced many challenging matches and had competitive game play all year. The final singles player, sophomore Josh Jashinski, who played in the No. 3 spot, was able to step up and play in crucial matches when the team needed him most.

“Connor played competitively all season long. He had a nice win against Woodland Hills and played his best tennis against the toughest opponents he faced,” coach Duermeyer said. “Another thing I am proud of is what happened against Plum. We were down several starters, which meant Josh Jashinski had to move to No. 1 singles … we won due to contributions from several kids including Josh.”

Not only did Shaler’s singles players have great successes, but the doubles teams had a few clutch wins to help out the team. The No. 1 doubles team consisted of freshman William Nebiolo and sophomore Nolan Le. This team went deep into sets and continued to play until the final point of every match. Their most exciting match was against North Hills, when they went into three sets to try and win the match for their team.

“The match went all the way to a tiebreaker, and Shaler won after Nolan made a diving save to set up William for a winner. It was an awesome end to a very tight match,” Coach Duermeyer said. “We proved that we were a playoff caliber team with that win.”

At the No. 2 doubles position was juniors Colin Bork and Carter Bossong. This team lost only three matches all season. They played consistently, which allowed their team to have so many wins this season.

“Without No. 2 doubles, we wouldn’t have won three of our matches,” Coach Duermeyer said.

With such an overall successful year, the Shaler Area boys tennis team is looking at the next season optimistically. Everyone is hopeful that the team will be able to build on the positive results from this past year.