NORTH ALLEGHENY – Competing in her first WPIAL Class 2A tennis championship, Sewickley Academy sophomore Ashley Close – the No.4 seed in 2A – made it easy, heading to her first WPIAL championship Friday at North Allegheny, beating Knoch’s No. 2 seeded Ally Bauer 6-3, 6-3.
Close did not make the 2020 WPIAL Class 2A tennis finals last year, but certainly left his mark on the 2021 edition. The sophomore opened the tournament with a pair of 10-0 wins over Caroline Burrell’s Dynka and Valley’s Eden Richey on Thursday, becoming the only player in the Championship not to lose a point in two rounds.
Building on the momentum gained from her dominance, Close entered the third round against seeded Nicole Kempton of South Park seeking to eliminate the championship favorite.
That’s exactly what Close did, scoring a relentless 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3 win over Kempton to clinch his ticket to Friday’s championship game against Bauer.
Bauer qualified for the championship game from second place in the squad, winning a 10-0 opener win over Central Valley’s Lauryn Johnsen, before beating Beaver’s Chloe DeSanzo 10-2, setting up a battle in the third round with teammate Emily Greb. Bauer won the semi-final match against Greb by a score of 6-2, 6-1.
In the championship match, Close maintained control throughout, closing a dominant two-day performance at North Allegheny with a 6-3, 6-3 victory to claim the WPIAL Class 2A tennis crown.
Contact Joshua Carney at [email protected] or 412-228-9178. Follow Joshua on Twitter: @ByJoshCarney