Top seeds take care of business in YAIAA boys' tennis singles
The second day of the YAIAA boys' tennis singles championships featured no big surprises, which was a big relief for Michael Andrews.
The York Catholic junior, who is seeded No. 2 in the Class AA bracket, was on the wrong side of a big upset on the second day of last year's tournament, when he held a No. 2 seed but lost to York Suburban's Michael Peck in the quarterfinals. Andrews brushed aside two opponents with little issue this time around, earning his first trip to the league finals, which will be held 4 p.m. Monday at South Western.
"I almost got put on the same court where I kind of blew it (last year), so that's always kind of in the back of my mind," Andrews said. "It helped me not playing Michael Peck on the same exact court, that would've thrown me off a little bit. I came in with some confidence, this tournament allows you to play a whole lot of tennis in a few days, so you get a lot of practice leading up to that match."
The rematch with Peck nearly came, but Littlestown's Brett Gill beat Peck 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 in a quarterfinal match that lasted two and a half hours. By the time Andrews started his semifinal match with a worn-out Gill, York Suburban's Elliot Diehl, the top seed in Class AA, had already finished off a semifinal victory against Andrews' teammate Nick Bartkowiak.
Diehl, a senior, won the Class AA final last season and is 2-0 in his career against Andrews.
"The pressure's on you to win, people expect you to win," Diehl said. "(Winning last year is) definitely a huge confidence boost. Winning it once, you obviously can win it again."
The Class AAA final will also showcase the top two seeds. Dallastown's John Schmitt and Red Lion's Sam Innerst both won two straight-set matches to set up a rematch of last year's final, which Schmitt won. The pair of seniors are very familiar with each other, having played "at least six times" — according to Schmitt — during their high school careers.
Although Schmitt won last season, he knows Innerst will give him a challenge.
"Sometimes he can overpower me because he's got such great shots," Schmitt said of Innerst. "If he's on his day, there's nothing I can do. If I can mess with that, that'll help me in the final."
The conditions for Monday's final are expected to be warmer than they have been for the first two days of the tournament, when temperatures dipped to the 30s and 40s. But Innerst said he's fine either way.
"Once you start playing, you really didn't feel the cold too much," he said. "You could kind of tell with the ball because the ball wouldn't move quite as fast, which can be good in some cases and bad in some cases. I kind of liked the weather today because it was comfortable to play in, I wasn't sweating too bad."
Results from the YAIAA tennis tournament's quarterfinals and semifinals.
John Schmitt, Dt, def. Joey Stiles, NO, 6-2, 6-1
Ben Sentz, SW, def. Chris Maderitz, CY, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Gavin Kenney, SW, def. Grant Wierman, SG, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
Sam Innerst, RL, def. Joe Harrison, SW, 6-0, 6-1
Schmitt, Dt, def Sentz, SW, 6-3, 6-3
Innerst, RL, def. Kenney, SW, 6-4, 6-0
Elliot Diehl, YS, def. Issac Higgins, YC, 6-1, 6-0
Nick Bartkowiak, YC, def. Devin Glispy, Susq, 6-2, 6-2
Brett Gill, Lt, def. Michael Peck, YS, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5
Michael Andrews, YC, def. Daniel Lee, YS, 6-4, 6-0
Diehl, YS, def. Bartkowiak, YC, 6-2, 6-2
Andrews, YC, def. Gill, Lt. 6-4, 6-2