After capturing his first section title, Jacob Patterson finished fourth in his first WPIAL Class AAA singles tennis tournament.
The South Fayette freshman maneuvered his way into the Final Four with pro set wins of 10-3 and 10-2 against Brian Lee from Penn-Trafford and Naman Dua from Shady Side Academy. In the semifinals, Patterson dropped a two-set decision, 6-0, 6-1, to Robby Shymansky.
A Yale recruit, Shymansky went on to capture his second straight WPIAL crown with a two-set sweep, 6-0, 6-1 of David Missry from Allderdice in the finals played April 16 at the Mt. Lebanon High School tennis courts.
With his loss to Shymansky, Patterson dropped into the consolation contest, where the third berth in the PIAA tournament would be determined. There he lost his bid to compete in his first state championship on May 24-25 at Hershey Racquet Club when he dropped a three-setter to Arjan Bedi.
A junior, Bedi won the Class AA title last season before Sewickley Academy was moved up a classification this spring.
After falling in the first set, Patterson roared back to blank Bedi, 6-0, in the second. Patterson appeared to have broken Bedi mentally when he took a 2-1 lead in the third set. However, Bedi recovered, broke Patterson’s service in the fourth game and went on to win the third set, 6-3.
Patterson earned his position in the district tournament by dominating the Section 4 action. He defeated Sander Ham from Mt. Lebanon, 6-2, 6-1, to capture the section crown.
After a first-round bye, Patterson embarked on his championship run with back-to-back, 10-0, pro-set victories against Remy Davis from Baldwin and Chui Harrison from Upper St. Clair. The freshman swept Gorun, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals before facing Ham for the championship.
Ham took a similar path to the finals. After a first-round bye, he defeated Tommy Ahlin from Baldwin, 10-6, and Luke Gladden from Canon-McMillan, 10-3, before beating Estatico, 6-1, 6-3, in the semifinals.
Before falling in the Final Four, Gorun beat James Ferrence from Bethel Park, 10-0, and Logan Cutts from Canon-McMillan, 10-1, while Estatico eliminated BP’s Hunter Dorfner, 10-0, and Peters Township’s Ethan Farmer, 10-3.
In the consolation match, Gorun topped Estatico, 6-2, 6-1. They both joined Patterson and Hamin the WPIAL singles tournament. While Estatico lost to Bedi in the first round of action, Gorun and Ham reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. Ham lost to Shymansky, and Gorun fell to Missry, both by 10-1 scores in the round of eight.
Other area participants in the Section 4-AAA tournament included: PT’s Ryan Salus, CV’s Zac Byrd and USC’s Ross Petrone.
The singles tournament was without a former champion as Connor Bruce was unable to participate due to an injury. The Peters Township senior and Dayton recruit won the WPIAL title as a sophomore with a win over Shymansky.
Bruce broke his ankle at the beginning of the season and was unable to participate in the section tournament, which was a qualifier for the WPIAL championships.
In the Section 4-AA tournament, Tyler Dollard from Seton-La Salle finished fourth and qualified for the WPIAL tournament. Dollard’s appearance in the district event was brief as he fell to Zachary Palko, 10-0, in the first round of action.
Palko advanced to the finals where the Indiana junior defeated Yash Maheshwari, 6-2, 6-2. A Thomas Jefferson junior, Maheshwari was the 2017 WPIAL runner-up and this year’s Section 1 champion.