The Lower Merion High School boys’ tennis team captured its third consecutive PIAA Class AAA state title May 20, defeating Great Valley, 3-0, in the championship final at the Hershey Racquet Club. The Aces finished the season with a perfect 21-0 record.
At second singles, Matt Chen defeated Sam Kesti 6-3, 6-3; at third singles, Matt Robinson defeated Nikhil Gangoli 6-1, 6-3; and at first doubles, Sesan Adebamgbe and Jared Robinson defeated Ryan Hamel and Amish Saini 6-4, 6-3. The first singles and second doubles matches were not completed.
Lower Merion head coach Dave O’Connell said, “This was truly a special team. Early in the season we had to make changes in our doubles lineup but the team fought through that adversity with a couple hard fought 4-3 wins over Unionville and Strath Haven.
“Since I became the head coach I have stressed the importance of a ‘team mentality.’ It has been great to see all the players pulling for each other and having the doubles teams helping out the singles players and vice versa.”
In the state semifinal, Lower Merion defeated State College, 3-0. At second singles, Matt Chen defeated Matt Wherly 6-4, 6-1; at third singles, Matt Robinson defeated Fernando DelCastillo 6-3, 6-4; and at second doubles, Harrison Axelrod and Jordan Robinson defeated Carnet Schoonmaker and Aleef Mannon 6-2, 6-4.
O’Connell paid tribute to the importance of the Aces’ doubles teams in the post-season: “During the district and states our two doubles teams got key wins in both the District final against Unionville and in our tough quarterfinal win over Erie Cathedral Prep.”
In the Aces’ 3-1 win against Erie Cathedral Prep in the state quarterfinals, LM’s Matt Robinson at third singles defeated Alec Thomas 6-1, 6-1; Lower Merion’s first doubles team of Sesan Adebamgbe and Jared Robinson defeated Jacob LaBonte and David Estes 6-1, 6-3; and the Aces’ second doubles team of Harrison Axelrod and Jordan Robinson defeated Patrick Kelly and Jon Horstman 7-5, 6-2.