South Western junior Quin Meyer saw his season come to an end last year in the YAIAA Quarterfinals in difficult fashion -- a loss to his brother, Mack Meyer, who advanced to the finals.
With his brother now graduated, Meyer exceeded last year's placement, advancing to the YAIAA Class AAA Championship by defeating Dallastown's John Schmitt in straight semifinal sets on Saturday. However, he must face another familiar opponent --his teammate and friend who happens to be the same player that defeated his brother for the title, defending county champion Anthony Miserendino. The championship is set for Monday.
"We both know each other's game really well," Meyer said. "We have been playing each other since we were five. We are all really good friends. It will be a fun match. I like the all-South Western final because it shows that we have a strong team, but it is not fun playing your friend."
Meyer struggled early in his semifinal match, falling behind 3-1 in the first set before rallying to defeat Schmitt, 7-5. He then dominated the second set, 6-1, to win the match.
"I had jitters to start the match," Meyer said. "I just had to try to get my focus. I started trying to do too much. Once I got into the match, I started doing a lot better. (Schmitt) played really well in the first set and was hitting a really good forehand. I just had to keep on getting his shots back and look to attack."
Meyer spent much of the past week working on his serve and backhand.
"I feel like the backhand has gotten a lot stronger and it showed the past two days," Meyer said.
Miserendino had a somewhat easier route to the finals. He defeated teammate Ben Sentz in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-3 and Red Lion's Sam Innerst 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals.
"I had a game plan from the start," Miserendino said. "I knew what I needed to do. I had already played him once during the season. I executed and I'm hitting well. My game plan worked today. I kept it to Sam's backhand. He has a very strong forehand. I tried to play more consistent and close to the net when I could and tried to put the ball away."
For Miserendino, warm weather has led to more consistent play.
"(The weather) is huge for me," Miserendino said. "The cold gets to me a bit. It feels good to be back in the finals."
Although he is excited about the chance to defend his crown, has mixed feelings about facing Meyer.
"It feels good to get back," he said. "I am not thrilled to play a teammate again, but I am happy Quin is there. I am trying to go for two titles in a row and I am pumped to be in it. I am going to bring it all on Monday."
In the Class AA final, it will be Biglerville's Cole Herzing facing York Suburban's Michael Hogg.
Herzing made easy work of his opponents Saturday, defeating Delone Catholic's Evan Staub in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-0, following that with a 6-1, 6-1 win against York Catholic's Adam Hack.
"We had a four-day break from practices and I learned a few more things," Herzing said. "I was trying to keep the ball a little deeper and get more spin on it so they were hitting off their back foot. It helped a lot today. I could get up further and (Hack) would hit it off his back foot and I would keep coming up closer."
Herzing is making his second consecutive trip to the finals, last year falling short to Hanover's Joel Garrett.
"I need to keep my head more in it this year," Herzing said. "I couldn't keep it in (last year), and that's how I lost. I am just going to try to change that."
His opponent in the finals, Hogg, also had a relatively easy trip to the finals as he defeated Biglerville's Evan Foster in the quarterfinals and then dropped Delone Catholic's Adam Fisher in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-2.
"Fortunately it worked out for me," Hogg said. " Adam defeated me in the regular season. Today I just tried to hit the ball deeper in the court and tried to draw the errors from him instead of making the errors myself."
Hogg knows he faces a tough task in the finals but is looking forward to a chance for payback after losing to Herzing in the regular season.
"I need to keep the ball deep and get every shot back," Hogg said. "He has a very strong game all around, so the goal is to just stay focused. It is a little nerve racking because I am playing Cole, but I am looking forward to it a lot."
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Anthony Miserendino, SW def. Ben Sentz, SW 6-2, 6-3; Sam Innerst, RL def. Kyle Salaga, DT 6-1, 6-3; Quin Meyer, SW def. Kaltrin Bullaj, Sus 6-3. 6-4; John Schmitt, DT def. Payce Berridge, DT 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).
Miserendino, SW def. Innerst, RL 6-1, 6-2; Meyer, SW def. Schmitt, DT 7-5, 6-1.
Cole Herzing, Big, def. Evan Staub, DC 6-1, 6-0; Adam Hack, YC. Def Elliot Diehl, YS 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; Adam Fisher, DC def. Sam Hernandez, YC. 7-6(7-3), 6-3; Mi chael Hogg, YS def. Evan Foster, Big 6-0, 6-1.
Herzing, Big, def. Hack 6-1, 6-1; Hogg, YS def. Fisher, DC 6-2, 6-2.