The Lower Merion boys’ tennis team captured its second straight PIAA Class AAA state championhip, defeating Fox Chapel, 3-0, in the championship finals May 21.
At first singles, Matt Chen defeated Robby Shymansky 6-1, 6-4; at second singles, LM’s Thibault Vernier led Sidd Rajupet 7-6 (5), 1-0 (did not finish); and at third singles, the Aces’ Sean Attebery led Neil Bentherif 6-3, 3-0 (did not finish). At first doubles, Lucas Kreuzer and Will Rieke defeated Jared Nord and Thomas Fennell 6-3, 6-3; and at second singles, Jared Robinson and Simon Sheintoch defeated Karon Singh and Jay Kashyap 6-2, 6-3.
Lower Merion boys’ tennis head coach Dave O’Connell said, “I was most impressed how the players really were a team. The doubles teams of Rieke and Kreuzer and Jared Robinson and Sheintoch came through in both the quarterfinal and final against two strong District 7 teams to take pressure off our singles players. At other times the singles players came through. Matt Chen clinched the championship for the second year in a row, Thibault Vernier had a dominating win against Hershey, and Sean Attebery was unbeatable at No. 3 singles.
“Defending a title is never easy because all the teams play their best against you. The team weathered the early-season and late-season storms to come together in the districts and states.”
In the championship semifinals, Lower Merion defeated Hershey, 3-2. At first singles, Hershey’s Dante Falcucci led Matt Chen 6-4, 0-1 (did not finish); at second singles, Thibault Vernier defeated Jacob Jastrzebski 6-1, 6-0; and at third singles, Sean Attebery defeated J.T. Mullins 6-0, 6-0. At first doubles, LM’s Lucas Kreuzer and Will Rieke led Nate Shaw and Harry Blackall 6-4, 1-0 (did not finish); and at second doubles, Jared Robinson and Simon Sheintoch defeated Ryan McCurdy and Paul Branka 6-3, 6-1.
O’Connell said, “My decision was not to risk injury to Matt or first doubles, so officially the score was 3-2.”
Lower Merion advanced to the PIAA Class AAA state semifinals after defeating District 7 runner-up North Allegheny, 5-0, in the state quarterfinals, led by a strong doubles showing. Lower Merion’s Matt Chen defeated Jared Issacs at first singles, 3-6, 7-6(8), Retired. At second singles, Thibault Vernier defeated Richard Hoffman 6-3, 6-0; and at third singles, Sean Attebery defeated Ivan Voinov 6-3, 6-2. At first doubles, Will Rieke and Lucas Kreuzer defeated Andrew Chuirazzi and Ethan Schenk 6-1, 6-0; and at second doubles, Jared Robinson and Simon Sheintoch defeated Mark Chuirazzi and Jerry Huang 6-1, 6-3.