High School Sports

Memorable season for State College boys’ tennis comes to an end with loss in PIAA semifinals

State College’s Nick Vanden, seen here in a past match, was the lone Little Lion to win a set Saturday, as State College fell 3-0 to Lower Merion in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. Still, it was a solid season for the group.
State College’s Nick Vanden, seen here in a past match, was the lone Little Lion to win a set Saturday, as State College fell 3-0 to Lower Merion in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. Still, it was a solid season for the group. adrey@centredaily.com

After a historic run, the State College tennis team’s season has come to an end.

The boys’ singles and doubles championships will take place next week. But, for the Little Lions’ team, Saturday proved to be the end to a memorable season, as they fell 3-0 to Lower Merion in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals at the Hershey Racket Club.

It was the first time since 2010 that State College had reached the semis.

“This was a brilliant season for this team and, today, we fell short despite a valiant effort from all,” head coach Jane Borden said. “These guys are all incredible student-athletes and, though the coaching staff is really proud of what they accomplished on the court, we are even more impressed with what they’ve done in the classroom and how they’ve represented State High.”

Saturday’s loss represented the Little Lions’ lone blemish on the season, as they finished the year with an 18-1 record. They also won two PIAA tournament games, the first time in four years they won a state game.

But they couldn’t overcome a tough Lower Merion squad, which claimed the last two state championships. The Little Lions won just a single set on the day, when their top singles player in Nick Vanden beat Sean Attebury in the match’s second set. That match was not finished, however, as Lower Merion had already clinched the team win when Vanden and Attebury were tied in the third set at one game apiece.

Vanden, the District 6 singles champ, will continue his season Friday at the Hershey Racket Club in the first round of the PIAA singles tournament. The doubles team of Matt Wherley-Owen Lloyd will also play Friday in the PIAA doubles tournament.

The rest of the team will have to wait until 2018.

“The guys played well but, quite frankly, Lower Merion was the better team today,” Borden said. “We played well in spots but just couldn’t find our way into some matches even though all of the guys played hard and fought for every point.”

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