Lower Merion protest denied by PIAA
HERSHEY –Lower Merion coach Joe Monaco protested last Saturday’s PIAA Class AAA team championship match with Fox Chapel. District 1 Lower Merion lost to Fox Chapel, 4-1, in the title match. Monaco filed a protest because Fox Chapel changed its ladder of how the players were to play, from first, second and third singles and first and second doubles. The protest states that Fox Chapel placed its best player in the fourth spot for first doubles because of a back injury. Fox Chapel had a note from a doctor saying Elyse Steiner could only play doubles and not singles. Monaco said that gave Fox Chapel an advantage. His protest was denied by PIAA executive director Brad Cashman. Cashman’s letter stated the WPIAL allowed Fox Chapel to change its lineup going into the team tournament because it had a letter from a physician stating Steiner could only play doubles. The PIAA upheld the WPIAL’s decision.
“I think it was done deliberately,” said Monaco, on Friday at the PIAA singles and doubles championships at Hershey Racquet Club. “You can’t just move players around. I think it affected the outcome of the match.”
Fox Chapel coach Emma Dieffenbach said she was aware of the action taken by Lower Merion.
“They did it because they have been runner up for five years which has been hard for them,” Dieffenbach said. “We had a doctor saying (Elyse) could only cover half the court. They had plenty of opportunities to win. There was no need to protest.”