GRATERFORD – Spring-Ford teammates Patrick Pascual and Ryan Schweitzer found themselves in an awkward situation during the finals of the Pioneer Athletic Conference Singles championships Saturday afternoon at Perkiomen Valley High School.
The two Rams found themselves pitted against each other in the championship match after both of them posted victories against their respective Perkiomen Valley teammates during the semifinal round of the two-day tournament.
The second-seeded Pascual wound up defeating the fifth-seeded Schweitzer 6-3, 6-0 in the title encounter.
During the semifinals, Pascual stopped Perkiomen Valley teammate Luke Pain 6-3, 6-0 while Schweitzer beat Perkiomen Valley’s Yashveer Singh 6-2, 6-0.
Pascual, a sophomore, and Schweitzer, a junior, are the top two players on the Rams’ ladder, and sophomore Pain and junior Singh hold the same positions for the Vikings. Singh, who was not seeded among the top eight players, upset defending champion Justin Baman, a Methacton senior, on Friday to set the stage for a new champion in 2014.
The Spring-Ford duo had also emerged victorious when the team downed Perkiomen Valley in a key PAC-10 dual meet earlier this season.
“I was thinking he is my friend,’ said Pascual of his mindset for the finale. “It took me a while. I was really tense in the beginning. Then I was able to calm down in the second set a little bit. It was still in the back of my mind.’
The event marked the first time Pascual and Schweitzer, a left-hander, have squared off in an actual match since a USTA meeting last year at Granite Run that Pascual also won.
In the first set, Pascual broke Schweitzer’s service to start the match with a 1-0 lead. Each player returned the favor to leave Pascual with a 2-1 lead after three games. Pascual held leads of 3-2 at deuce and 4-2 before breaking Schweitzer again at 15-40 for a 5-2 advantage. Schweitzer won the ensuing game to make it 5-3 before another Pascual service break closed out the set at deuce.
Pascual served to open the second set and jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead to set the tone for the set. Game four went to deuce, but Pascual still prevailed, and then he completed the match by holding serve. The match lasted 53 total minutes.
“Anything can happen,’ said Pascual. “I wasn’t any more confident with Baman out. Yash could have won. He played great Friday.’
Schweitzer also talked about playing against a teammate and friend in a league championship scenario.
“That was really funny,’ said Schweitzer. “I like playing against Pat. He’s a really good player. We just hit together. He is definitely a more consistent player and has more power than I do. He also has more experience playing USTA matches.’
Schweitzer was wary of his semifinal against Singh, based on the momentum the PV player had from Friday’s victory over Baman.
“We had confidence going against Perkiomen Valley because we beat our opponents, but that (upset victory) discouraged me, going against him (Singh) going into the match.’
In the third-place match for another District 1 playoff berth, Pain defeated Singh 6-0, 7-5. … In the fifth-place match, Owen J. Roberts junior Utkarsh Pandey topped Spring-Ford freshman TJ Cruickshank 7-5, 6-4. … Spring-Ford coach John Brennan served as tournament director while Perkiomen Valley coach Chris Ho helped out as the host school.