DuBOIS — It had already been pretty unlikely that the Brockway tennis team would be in the District 9 Class AA Team Championship match, but that was where the Rovers found themselves on Wednesday afternoon.
Brockway, which was the No. 4 seed in the tournament, defeated No. 5 Clearfield 4-1 in the quarterfinals before upsetting top-seeded Punxsutawney, 3-2, last week.
After dealing with a rainout on Tuesday and another delay to let the courts dry out on Wednesday, there wasn’t going to be any stopping the Rovers in the championship against St. Marys.
Brockway, which had beaten St. Marys 5-2 early in the regular season, won the the only three matches completed (2 singles, 1 doubles) Wednesday to take a shortened 3-0 match over the Dutchmen at City Park.
“This is great. I can’t believe we won the team championship to be honest,” said Brockway coach Lori Sabatose. “We’ve never won a boys team championship. It was our goal at the beginning of the season.
“We knew singles would be really tough with (St. Marys’ Jordan) Romain, and we don’t know about the doubles. But, we thought with our strengths and numbers and how everybody improved, our best shot was the team district title. They did it.”
“Congratulations to Brockway. A job well done,” said St. Marys coach David Lion. “I think we were outplayed today in our singles matches, and our first doubles match. They played a smarter match than we did.”
“Their consistency in singles was enough to throw us today, and they played smarter in doubles.”
It was a return trip to the finals for Brockway, which fell to Elk County Catholic, 5-0, in last year’s D-9 Class AA Team Championship. The Crusaders had won the previous four titles prior to Wednesday.
While the team championship match between Brockway and St. Marys was happening, Romain, the Dutch No. 1 player, was battling Punxsutawney’s Matt Blose in the D-9 singles tournament finals. Romain won his second straight title with a 6-0, 6-2 victory.
By the time the district singles match was over, the Rovers had already clinched the match, so Lion and Romain elected not to play in the No. 1 singles match against Brockway’s Adam Sabatose.
Out of City Park’s five tennis courts, one was decided to not be playable due to the heavy rain around the DuBois area on Wednesday.
As a result, the No. 2 doubles match between Brockway’s Weston Hrin and Brendan Allison and St. Marys’ Adam Snyder and Cody Schaberl had to wait for a court to be cleared.
The match did not finish, and no winner was decided, but Brockway had already clinched the championship.
In the two singles matches that were played, the Rovers’ No. 2 and No. 3 players made quick work of their Dutchmen opponents.
Tyler Foradori beat the Connor Dalessandro 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 2 match, while the Rovers’ Mason Lindenmuth took Dawson Lion 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
In the only doubles match of the day, Brockway’s Anthony Esposito and Josh Salada toughed out the first set with a 6-4 win over St. Marys’ Zeph Woelfel and Joey Lewis before winning the second set easily, 6-2.
“Anthony and Josh really clicked in the second set,” said Sabatose. “It was anyone’s game in the first set. They settled down, made the volleys, started trying some lobs. They were being smart players.”
With the win, Brockway will play in the PIAA Class AA Tournament starting next week. The Rovers will play Sewickley Academy, the District 7 champion, in the first round on Tuesday at a District 7 site. Sewickley Academy defeated Indiana, 5-0, on Wednesday.