Rosemont >> Harriton’s Saige Roshkoff and Sophia Sassoli, who captured the PIAA Class AAA state doubles championship Nov. 3, are no strangers when it comes to playing doubles together.
When the duo was age 10 and 12 respectively, they teamed up and won a USTA Middle States sectional tournament. Little did they know that, five years later, they would take the court together again with higher stakes on the line.
“I always have fun when I play doubles with Sophia,” said Roshkoff following their run to the PIAA District One Class AAA doubles title Oct. 24. “It was as fun now as it was then, and I am happy to share this moment with her.”
Sassoli added, “I really appreciate Saige reaching out to me and asking if we wanted to play doubles together. I always have fun playing with Saige and felt we could make a strong team.”
On Nov. 3, the pair completed a historical run through the PIAA Class AAA state doubles tournament when they defeated Methacton High School’s Dina Nouaime and Tina Prince – the same team they defeated in the district final – 6-1, 6-2 to claim the state championship.
“Earning a state title means a lot,” said Sassoli. “Harriton tennis has been a big part of my fall for the past four years and I could not ask for a better way to end my high school career.”
The win by Roshkoff and Sassoli capped off a magical season for the Harriton tennis team that won the team state title Oct. 27 when they finished off a 20-0 season, defeating Conestoga for the third time in a month.
Roshkoff and Sassoli also became the first pair from District One to win the state doubles title since Lower Merion Merion’s Julie Raezer and Kristen Roth won it back in 2005. Lower Merion also won its only team state title that season.
“I am so excited for Sophia and Saige,” said Harriton girls’ tennis coach Kathi Rees. “They are an unbelievable pair who are extremely focused and aggressive on the doubles court and they played like true champions!”
Interestingly, Roshkoff and Sassoli become the first Harriton duo to win the state doubles title since 1979, when Sue Taylor and Laura LaFair won it. That Harriton team was coached by Rees’ father, Bill Zimmerman.
Dating back to Sept. 26 when Roshkoff and Sassoli won the Central League doubles crown, the pair went on to capture the District 1 crown Oct. 24, dropping only five games in four matches before losing only six games in their four state matches.
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