Shady Side Academy’s Dua captures PIAA singles title
Three weeks after winning the WPIAL Class AAA singles tennis title, Shady Side Academy junior Ananya Dua swept to the PIAA Class AAA championship on Friday and Saturday in Hershey.
Dua was dominant, not losing a single set in her four matches en route to the state title.
Her 6-3, 6-4 semifinal victory over Meredith Lee of Owen J. Roberts High School was her closest match. She only lost 15 of the 63 games she played over the weekend.
In the first round, she beat Sammi Snyder of Exeter, 6-1, 6-2. She then posted a 6-3, 6-0 win over Julianna Herman of Archbishop Ryan in the quarterfinals.
She went up against North Allegheny’s Anna Li in the championship match. Dua played Li three times this season and won all three. She made it four in a row in unexpectedly easy fashion, 6-1, 6-1.
It was a case where all of Dua’s shots were falling in.
“I really thought that Anna and I would probably be going to three sets,” she said. “I never thought she would only win two games, but everything I hit was falling in. Everything went my way. After I won the WPIALs, my confidence grew, and I felt that I could win the state championship.”
Dua matched the performance of 2007 SSA grad Lauren Greco, who claimed both WPIAL and PIAA championships. Dua was a third-grader at the time.
“I know Lauren,” Dua said. “She trained with the same coach that I do. I’ve never played against her though.”
She won’t savor her titles for too long, even though the season is over.
“I won’t be taking a break,” she said. “I’ll be playing all winter in USTA tournaments. I’ll be working on improving my net game and my volleys. They can be better. I want to work on my shot accuracy, too.”
Dua’s performance impressed Shady Side coach Jeff Miller, who added a second state gold medal winner to his stable.
“It was almost flawless tennis,” Miller said. “Things like this almost never happen. Ananya slashes these angle shots that nobody else does. Being left-handed helps, of course, but she moves her wider and wider on the court, more than any high school player I’ve seen in decades.”
Fox Chapel pair runners-up
Fox Chapel’s Laurel Shymansky and Amanda Nord settled for second at the PIAA doubles tournament Saturday, falling to North Allegheny’s Tina Li and Eugenia Lee in the finals, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Lee and Li overcame multiple match points going the other way during the second set to stage a remarkable comeback, down a set and sitting at 3-5 in the second set.
The Fox Chapel duo won their semfinal match over Conestoga’s Kaylee Yan and Amy Zhang, 6-4, 6-1.
Jeff Dewees contributed. Marty Stewart is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or [email protected].