HERSHEY - In the first team match of the day, Warren's boys tennis team faced a very tough Wyomissing squad - the District 3 champion - in the PIAA quarterfinals on Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club.
"Our Dragons tasted defeat for the first time this season with a 5-0 loss," said Warren coach Jeff Bartsch. "This was the only match-up of two undefeated teams in the tournament. It's a shame they had to play so early.
"We would have preferred making it a bit deeper into the tournament before facing Wyomissing out of Berks County," he said. "Unfortunately, the PIAA uses a standard district plug-in draw, which doesn't account for a seeded placement of teams in the draw. Having seen the other teams in the tournament, we felt that we could have finished higher, possibly in the medal rounds. The Wyomissing team is very strong as they have national level talent in the top two singles positions. They are the class of the field and they will most likely be in the finals again on Saturday afternoon."
The Dragons have had a magical season that included a District 10 singles champion, D-10 doubles champions, Region 2 and District 10 team championships, and a state playoff win earlier this week.
Since 2000, the Spartans have won 187 of 188 matches with Berks League opponents. Since 2001, Wyomissing has played in the PIAA tournament 11 times - finishing second in 2001, 04 and 11. They won State titles in 2009 and 2010.
"Our boys were prepared and they were fired up today," said Bartsch. "We played well, but the more experienced Wyomissing team had answers for everything we tried. Our best showing was in top doubles as junior Grayson Foley and freshman Nate Sandberg pushed the Spartans.
Ricardo Saad (W) def Shane Burns, 6-0, 6-0
Rodrigo Saad (W) def Thomas Pellegrino, 6-0, 6-0
Fick (W) def Matt Sandberg, 6-1, 6-0
Altman/Davis def Grayson Foley and Nate Sandberg, 6-2, 6-4
Pottieger/Heck def Drew Lobdell & Nick Tarpenning, 6-3, 6-0
"We had a great team run in the past two weeks," said the coach of his 19-1 Dragons. "Winning singles, doubles and the team championship at the District tournaments was a great accomplishment. And then to win our first round in the state playoffs last Tuesday was one for the record book. Getting a District team title was our goal this season, and to get to Hershey was icing on the cake."
Next up for the Dragons, Shane Burns - the D-10 singles champion - will play in next Friday's PIAA singles tournament at Hershey. District 10 champions Thomas Pellegrino and Matt Sandberg will play the state doubles tournament next week as well.
"All three boys got the opportunity to play on the surface, so that should prove to be of value next Friday," said Bartsch.