South Western's Anthony Miserendino came into his senior season with a huge target on his back.
As a junior, he did the unthinkable. He won the YAIAA Class AAA singles title by defeating teammate and best friend, Mack Meyer, as a seventh seed.
Miserendino wondered during the offseason how he would respond to the pressure of every opponent trying to topple him.
He responded better than he could have expected. Miserendino went undefeated throughout the league in singles without dropping a set. He had an equally impressive run through the YAIAA championships, where he lost a mere 14 games in five matches. He made another appearance in the YAIAA finals against another teammate and best friend, Quin Meyer, Mack's younger brother.
Miserendino's experience helped him to prevail for his second consecutive league title by defeating Meyer, 6-1, 6-4.
"The feeling of winning counties twice like that was insane and unbelievable," Miserendino said. "It was also bittersweet because I was playing my best friends and teammates each time. You win the championship, but you don't want to celebrate too much because you just beat your best friend, and you don't want to rub it in."
For Miserendino, the thought of going down in the record books as back-to-back league champion is almost unimaginable to him. Heading into the league championships as a junior, he did not even consider it. With his coaches telling him to believe in himself, he came out on top and used that momentum and extra confidence to bolster his play during his senior year.
In addition to winning the league, Miserendino also won his first District 3 match before falling.
"I don't think anyone on this side of the Susquehanna won a district match because it's a really tough district," he said. "It was good, and I think it kind of set me forward and let people know that I wasn't just some guy from York County that couldn't play tennis. I think it let people know that people from York County can play."
Miserendino also found success throughout the season doubles play. He and Quin Meyer teamed up to make it to the league final in doubles play before falling to Dallastown's John Schmitt and Payce Berridge, 6-1, 6-3.
The two-time champ attributes much of his growth as a player to his experience last summer playing on a junior team in the USTA.
"We made it to nationals last year in South Carolina ," he said. "The different type of players that you see there -- kids from all over the country and Puerto Rico. You get to see different types of players. It gave me a lot of variety to play against and really improve my game and I think that was one of the big things."
It paid off in a big way.
Miserendino started playing tennis when he was 10 years old and fell in love with the game. Despite loving soccer and playing through middle school, when high school came, Miserendino made the choice that he was going to set all his efforts on tennis.
"Once I won that first tournament, there was no feeling like it," Miserendino said. "I always liked the idea that it was one-on-one. It was all me on the court. I have to do it all myself and try to pull it out. It is a big mental game, and I like that."
Miserendino will now take his love for the game to West Chester University, where he plans to continue his tennis career while gaining an education. His major is currently undeclared, but he is leaning towards something in communications, such as broadcasting.
ALL-AREA TENNIS TEAM
Anthony Miserendino, South Western: The senior went 14-2 and captured his second consecutive YAIAA Class AAA singles crown by beating teammate Quin Meyer, 6-1, 6-4. The Hanover-area Player of the Year for the second straight season, he added to his magical season by defeating Peter Landis from Red Land, 6-1, 6-2, in districts. In league play, he did not lose a single set all season long. Miserendino will attend West Chester University next year and plans to continue his tennis career.
Quin Meyer, South Western: The junior was the runner-up in the YAIAA Class AAA singles tournament, falling to Miserendino. Meyer was 11-4 on the season and helped the Mustangs to a 10-3 record. He also partnered with Miserendino in doubles, and the two made it to the league finals before falling to Dallastown's John Schmitt and Payce Berridge, 6-1, 6-3.
Cole Herzing, Biglerville: The senior captured the YAIAA Class AA singles championship, defeating York Suburban's Michael Hogg, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. He is a two-time qualifier for the District 3 Class AA singles tournament, where he fell both times in the opening round.
Adam Fisher, Delone Catholic: Fisher made his mark on the season by defeating York Suburban's Hogg in an early season contest. Fisher then fell in a rematch in the YAIAA Class AA singles semifinals to Hogg, the eventual Class AA runner-up. Fisher finished the season 5-4 but was the clear leader for a youthful Delone squad.
Evan Foster, Biglerville: Foster made his name in doubles this season. He partnered with Herzing to claim the YAIAA Class AA doubles championship by defeating York Catholic's Adam Hack and Matthew Koury, 6-4, 6-1. Foster also made it to the quarterfinals in the YAIAA Class AA singles tournament before falling to Hogg.
Ben Sentz, South Western
Evan Staub, Delone Catholic
Alex Meckley, New Oxford
Cullen Rosenbrien, Hanover
Mike Gruver, New Oxford