Chester County teams looking strong again this spring – PA Prep Live

Chester County once again features a strong lineup of high school boys’ tennis teams. Last year, Conestoga advanced to the PIAA 3A team state semifinals; Downingtown East was undefeated in the Ches-Mont League and advanced to the PIAA 3A state team tournament; Unionville cap-tured the Ches-Mont American Division crown; and Devon Prep ad-vanced to the Catholic League championship finals for the first time in school history.
Here’s a look as the local high school boys’ tennis squads as they begin their 2022 spring season:
Conestoga, which advanced to the PIAA 3A state team tournament sem-ifinals last spring and finished second in the District 1 3A tourney, re-turns a number of seasoned veterans, including junior first singles Justin Xu, junior third singles Aaron Sun, senior first doubles Manas Dhawan and sophomore first doubles Basil Lubiniecki. Other Pioneers to watch include freshman second singles Rohan Rao and freshman doubles player Raphael Lubiniecki.
“Our strengths are that we have a lot of returners with experience from last year,” said Conestoga head coach Brittany Aimone.
Downingtown East is coming off an undefeated Ches-Mont season (11-0, 13-4 overall) and a PIAA state tournament appearance last spring. Key returning players include juniors Ahbiraj Srivastava and Devin McBride at singles, and senior Adi Shankar, junior Sachiel Varada and senior Bala Godavarthi at doubles. Other players to watch include freshman Shrihan Madam (singles) and junior Rohun Gargya (doubles).
D-East coach Chris Waychunas said, “Our team hopes to pick up where it left off last season. They want to continue to grow as a collective unit dedicated to 110 percent effort towards success. ”
Unionville, the defending Ches-Mont American Division champions, only lost one senior to graduation last year. Unionville head coach Jimmy O’Rourke said, “Seventeen new players came out for the team this year, including one of our most talented freshman classes ever.” Longhorn singles players to watch include freshman Andrew Ou, senior captain Andrew Poprik and junior captain Jack Barrickman. Doubles players to look for include the duo of junior captain Matt Farrell and freshman Matt Miller, as well as the junior pair of Nate Butler and Ryan Megill. “We’re looking to have a great year playing a tough schedule, and looking to go deep into postseason play.”
Devon Prep posted a 7-2 record last spring and was a Catholic League championship finalist for the first time in Tide tennis history. The key returning player is senior Mitchell Bramlage at first singles, who was Catholic League MVP last spring as well as Daily Local News Boys Tennis Player of the Year. Bramlage was undefeated in the Catholic League and also secured a boys’ doubles victory in the PIAA state championship. “We expect him to continue to do great things,” said Devon Prep head coach Lauren George.
Other players to watch include freshmen Pierce Rohlfing (second singles) and Chris Rohner (third singles). George said, “They are immensely talented athletes. Chris is an extremely strong player physically with incredible stroke mechanics and Pierce is an exceptionally strategic, high percentage player with tournament experience. Senior Ethan Grotell (first doubles) is also expected to do very well in the doubles position as a steady groundstroker with pinpoint accuracy. ”
George said, “Obviously having an athlete like Mitchell back in the highly competitive first singles position is a strength. Devon also has been training quite a bit during the off-season to prepare for the spring. We lost 10 seniors last year and have only one returning varsity player, so there is some rebuilding to do. However, co-captains Mitchell Bram-lage and [senior] Zach Kennedy are doing an excellent job guiding the young players. We expect to have a successful season and a lot of fun along the way. ”
Avon Grove posted a 10-5 record last spring and qualified for Districts for the first time as a team. The key returning player for Avon Grove is senior captain Joe Yarbrough, who returns for his fourth year in AG’s top position. He looks to return to Districts in both singles and dou-bles. Freshman Joe Ingram will make his debut at second singles.
“With a mix of returning players and some new talent we look to make a return appearance at Districts this year,” said Avon Grove head coach Diane Maund.
Bishop Shanahan has a seasoned squad, with five returning players from last year’s varsity team and six from last year’s junior varsity squad.
“I expect all of them to make big contributions to this year’s team,” said Shanahan head coach Michael Owens.
For singles, those players include seniors Sean Leslie and Jack Ringen-bach, and sophomore Tommy Duncheskie.
Players to watch in doubles include junior Mark Jermyn, junior Tyler Metz, senior Ryan Gilbert, senior Owen Rokke, senior Brendan LaFoun-tain, junior John Conal Bonass, junior Martin Steinetz and junior Kevin McConlogue.
“We had an additional 17 boys come out for the team,” Owens said. “Seeing this much interest and enthusiasm in the tennis team has been great. I’m looking forward to the team being competitive, having a good year, and above all having fun. ”
Downingtown West posted a 9-8 record last spring and returns some talent in senior first singles Shrey Dhingra, who enjoyed a successful season last year at 2nd singles; and senior Rohit Vipperla, who returns at first doubles after posting an 11-5 record last spring, with big wins against Unionville and Great Valley. Other players to watch include freshman Leo Shi at second singles and sophomore Jack Sheldon at third singles.
“Last year we had multiple key players decide not to come out for the team due to COVID,” said D-West head coach Justin DePietropaolo. “We are back to full strength this year after only losing three seniors and bringing in a freshman at singles with USTA tournament experience [Leo Shi]. However, we do need to step up our consistency in every match. Last year we would have key court wins against great teams like Downingtown East and Unionville, only to lose those courts the very next match. ”
West Chester East is coming off a 6-8 record last spring, and key re-tours include seniors Jon Kurtz and Donovan Guzman and junior Kyle Finding at singles, and seniors Ryan Vo and Chase Latyak at doubles. Another player to watch is freshman Benjamin Gao at first singles.
“We are a solid team from top to bottom with a lot of experience and a lot of depth,” said West Chester East coach Michael Orenshaw. “Benjamin Gao will lead the team at first singles followed by a large, tight-knit group of returning players with varsity experience throughout the lineup.”
West Chester Henderson, which compiled an 8-5 record last spring, is now led by seniors Ethan Chheda, Aidan Asmus and Eric Goosen at sin-gles, and seniors Sid Muvvala and Andrew Wilcomes at doubles. Other doubles players to watch include freshman Patrick Sinnott, junior Leyton Jarden, junior Aansh Devpura, senior Nico Cloarec, Kyle Yost, Cam Theiss, Tommy Tooke and Aidan Scheer.
Henderson head coach Peter Sok said, “Our three singles players have been working hard and made a great deal of improvement with their game. Our team hopes to be competitive in our league and improve on last season. ”
West Chester Rustin, who finished 9-7 last spring, is facing an unsettled situation right now due to injuries. Rustin’s first singles player, Rowan Degnan, is out until at least mid-April and the Golden Knights’ third singles player is sidelined until April 1 with injuries. Golden Knights head coach Billy McElroy said, “What started out to be a possibly strong year has turned into a rebuilding year. Senior Sam Page will be taking the first singles spot [for now) and seniors Wesley Greer and Carter Gilliland will take the other two singles spots until the others return.” Senior Ryan Jackson and junior Daniel Scoffone, both All Ches-Mont soccer players, should be a solid No. 1 doubles team. McElroy said the team is looking to develop a strong class of sophomores at doubles.
Oxford head coach Justin Hostetter said, “As a team, we definitely lack overall experience but look to grind every time we are on the court. I tell each player to focus on improving their own fundamentals, rather than wins and losses, because we are in an extremely tough league.”
Competition for first singles at Oxford will likely be a battle between junior Jacob Horton and senior Johnny Fields.
“Johnny stepped in last year as our No. 1 player despite never playing competitive tennis, but both players worked on their game this summer and look to take some more steps forward,” said Hostetter.
Rounding out singles will be a competition between seniors Dylan Ger-rard and Ryan Battista.
“Juniors Liam Hale and Luke Schoessler also put in extra time on the courts this offseason and look to be key contributors at the top of the doubles lineup,” said Hostetter.
Great Valley, under first-year head coach Gerry McGrath, features a mix of experienced players and four freshmen, including Vivek Armand at third singles. Junior Krish Mendiratta is at first singles, with junior Revant Mendiratta at second singles. Senior captains Advik Nakirikanti, Will Yin and Aaditya Gokhale, along with junior Will Otterbein, round out first and second doubles. Junior Charlie Noll, along with freshmen Anuj Awatramani, Josh Verano and Daniel Doekes are at third and fourth doubles.
McGrath, who served as an assistant to former head coach Paul Waltz for the past three years, said, “We are looking forward to a season of growth.”
Coatesville was winless last spring and had only five boys on the team. The key Red Raiders to watch include junior William McLorie, senior Marc Moncrief and sophomore Evan Byerley at singles. Coatesville coach David Phillips said, “We need to improve – I have a team of be-ginners so that means they have to put in a lot of court time.”
Kennett will be led by seniors singles players Cade Verrico, Jeff Day and Gavin Seele. “Our team will probably have a rebuilding year,” said Kennett head coach Ken Riale.
Malvern Prep, which was winless in the Inter-Ac last spring, features a relatively squad this year. Leading players are sophomore Hayden Fisher (first singles), senior Christopher Hopkins (second singles) and the first doubles duo of seniors Adi Sharma and Matt Hess.
“We had a young team last year, and a lot of underclassmen will con-tribute this year,” said Malvern Prep head coach Anthony DeCecco. “We can only go up from last year but we have young talent and depth.”

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