Spring-Ford’s Pascual becomes first three-time PAC singles champion

GRATERFORD >> Tournament director John Brennan, who is also the Spring-Ford High School boys tennis head coach, termed Monday afternoon’s PAC-10 Singles Tournament championship match the finest one he had ever witnessed during his 12-year tenure at the helm.

The championship match was a rematch between Spring-Ford’s Patrick Pascual and Perkiomen Valley’s Luke Pain. The exciting match lasted three sets with Pascual emerging with the victory and his third consecutive conference singles title with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over PV’s Pain at the Perkiomen Valley High School courts.

Spring-Ford's Patrick Pascual won the PAC-10 title Monday. (Barry Taglieber - DFM)
Spring-Ford’s Patrick Pascual won the PAC-10 title Monday. (Barry Taglieber – DFM)

In doing so, Pascual became the league’s first-ever three-time singles champion in the history of the Pioneer Athletic Conference, which dates back to 1987 for spring boys tennis.

“It is very surreal,” said Pascual after receiving his gold medal in the post-tournament ceremony. “I am just very grateful for the people around me who made this happen. I am dedicating this victory to so many people.”

He credited all of his teammates and friends on the Rams’ team as well as Brennan and all of the other coaches and instructors he has had during his career in tennis that began many years ago when he was a young boy. Most of all, Pascual thanked the other members of his family, his younger brother, mother and father, all of whom spent time with him on the courts playing tennis and always offering Patrick encouragement and support throughout his long, successful career.

The journey is not over either. Pascual will proceed to the District 1-AAA Singles Tournament next weekend. From there, he will compete in the PAC-10 Doubles Tournament. Then next season, Pascual will continue his academic and tennis athletic careers at Division I La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Pascual won his semifinal match against Perkiomen Valley’s Shaan Kawalramani 6-0, 6-2 earlier in the afternoon. Pain won his semifinal match against Methacton’s Nick Simeone 6-2, 6-0.

Pascual was the top seed entering the tournament, followed by Pain, Simeone, Phoenixville’s Mike Ellis, Kawalramani, Spring-Ford’s Nick Griswold, Spring-Ford’s TJ Cruickshank and Owen J. Roberts’ Brandon Miller.

Perkiomen Valley's Luke Paine. (Barry Taglieber - For Digital First Media)
Perkiomen Valley’s Luke Paine. (Barry Taglieber – For Digital First Media)

Pain deservedly felt quite proud of himself for giving Pascual such a great battle.

“The last two matches we played went to the third set,” said Pain. “It was a great match. He got the better of me today. We both played well.”

The Vikings’ leader is looking to continue his tennis career at the collegiate level, too. Pain will attend Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah.

“I’ve worked a lot and very hard,” said Pain. “I am looking forward to districts and collegiate tennis. Eventually, I will be on main campus, which is a beautiful place. It opens the door for me to play at BYU.”

Pain served first to start the match, but Pascual broke and held serve for a 2-0 lead and then upped the lead to 3-1, and completed the run by winning the ensuing three games as well.

Both players had some fine, well-placed shots during the match.

In the second set, Pain moved out to a 1-0 lead on a service break that included a strong, deep return shot to the baseline. He closed to the net for an emphatic overhead prior to taking a 2-1 lead and then, with the aid of a pivotal ace, took a 3-1 lead.

There were several good rallies between the two players. Pain took a 4-3 lead with a deep, crosscourt shot. Then he held serve with another crosscourt shot to up the lead to 5-3.

The ninth game went to Pascual, but Pain rebounded quickly. He began the 10th game with a service ace and then used a solid overhand shot to win an important net point.

Pain won the third game in the third set with a service break, but Pascual was still able to build a 4-1 lead. Pain sliced the gap to 4-3 by taking advantage of an error on a service break. Pascual came through big with key shot to the far corner to take a 5-3 lead. Pain stayed alive at 5-4. But in the decisive game that went to deuce, Pascual’s crosscourt return provided the winning match point.

NOTES >> Methacton’s Nick Simeone placed third with PV’s Shaan Kawalramani fourth, Spring-Ford’s Nick Griswold fifth and Phoenixville’s Mike Ellis sixth. The top five earned a place in districts.

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