After 15 Years, Girls Tennis Team Hopes to Reclaim State Champions Title

The world of sports at Greater Latrobe Senior High has only evolved and changed over the years. This season amongst a pandemic, the girl’s tennis team took on many obstacles, accepted challenges, overcame change, and persevered. On Thursday, October 22, the lady wildcats defeated Upper Saint Clair, number one seed, in the WPIAL championship. This is the first time since 2005 that the team has made it this far and marks the third time in Greater Latrobe Tennis history. Seven members of the team will be moving onto the next round of the State Championship on Wednesday en route to Hershey, Pennsylvania over the Halloween weekend. 

“We have been playing very well, throughout this season. We have been working on making our doubles team stronger and solidifying our net game,” senior Addison Kemerer said. Coach Chad Kissell, a former player at GLSD who  went to play D1 tennis at Indiana State, was very confident in this group of girls tennis players from very early on. Kissell is very proud to be a mentor to this group of girls and finally watch all of their hard work pay off. 

After losing seven seniors from last year’s team, the dynamic and bond between the girls have only strengthened and grown closer together throughout the season. “Our team still has a positive attitude and a great record after losing seniors last year. All of the girls are great friends during and outside of tennis, and I think that helps to keep a lighthearted attitude. The varsity team this year has nine seniors, four juniors, and one sophomore. I am confident in our ability to make it far in the state tournament after winning the WPIAL,” said senior Casey Elder. 

Sophomore Avery Massaro is the youngest player on the varsity team. She is grateful for the experience this year and for making it as far as they have. “It feels really good getting to be one of the younger players this season and getting to learn and play with all of the older girls. Since we got so far this year, I think there’s definitely a great chance of us getting as far throughout the rest of my high school career and hopefully, we are able to win another WPIAL title,” Massaro states. 

A strong, winning team takes more than just hard work and commitment to the game. Bonding and forming relationships with the people you play with is a crucial factor that leads the way to the state championship.  “We have been incredibly blessed this season with such a great group of kind, hard-working players. If it weren’t for the teamwork, dedication, and support given by each and every girl, we would not be where we are today. Our strong team bond has enabled us to be so successful this season, and I hope we can continue our success and snag a state title!” said senior Deanna Mylant.

In Greater Latrobe tennis history, this is the first time in 15 years that the team has made it to this point. The determination, goal setting, and extra hours made this possible for the team. Senior Reese Petrosky has been on the team for four years and says, “I think this season we all knew that we had a chance to go far so it pushed us to work harder. We all have been putting in extra hours during the week to make sure we’ll be ready for the next match.” 

As the girls take on the steps to acquire a state championship in Hershey Pennsylvania, they will continue to show their hard work and dedication put in over the years. Just like each and every match, they will play with confidence to hopefully bring home a Pennsylvania State Championship title to the Wildcat fans.