High School Sports

State College boys’ tennis reaches PIAA Class 3A semifinals

State College’s Nick Vanden took the No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-1 in the Little Lions’ 3-0 win over Conestoga in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals on Friday.
State College’s Nick Vanden took the No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-1 in the Little Lions’ 3-0 win over Conestoga in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals on Friday. Centre Daily Times, file

The State College boys’ tennis team made quick work of the its PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals opponent Conestoga on Friday afternoon inside a steamy Hershey Racquet Club.

The Little Lions punched their ticket to the state semifinals with a 3-0 win.

“We are so proud of these guys,” Little Lions coach Jane Borden said. “To be one of the top four teams in the state and to be 18-0 so far has not been an easy task, but these guys just keep on keeping on. The guys were ready and focused from the beginning again today and that always helps. We are playing well and played with poise and even were a bit gutsy at times when we had to be.”

State College advanced to take on two-time defending state champion Lower Merion at noon Saturday in the semifinals. If the Little Lions beat the Aces, they will face the winner of Great Valley-Unionville in the finals at 5:30 Saturday.

State College’s Nick Vanden and Fernando del Castillo took singles victories, while captain Matt Wherley didn’t have to finish his No. 2 singles match. Vanden (6-1, 6-1) and del Castillo (6-2, 6-0) dropped a total of four games.

The Little Lions’ doubles team of Garrett Schoonmaker and Aleef Mannan picked up the other team point after it was deemed Conestoga made an illegal substitution. Schoonmaker and Mannan were trailing 5-4 in the match.

“All of our guys came into today’s quarterfinals with some great confidence,” Wherley said. “Our matches today will definitely set us up well in the match we’ll be playing in the semifinals. We’re expecting good competition (Saturday) with a team which we have already played earlier in the year.”

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