Juniata edged in D6 Class AA Title

ALTOONA- Juniata High School came up short in its bid for the District 6 Class AA team tennis championship.

The Indians dropped a tough 3-2 decision to Westmont Hilltop on Thursday afternoon at the Summit Tennis and Racquet Club.

Earlier in the day, Juniata topped Bishop Guilfoyle, 3-2, in the completion of their semifinal match which was suspended by rain on Tuesday.

Although disappointed with the loss, Juniata coach Alan Musselman noted the Indians are a young team.

“We lost in the first round last year to Bishop Guilfoyle,” Musselman said. “We have only one senior this year so we’ll be back next year.”

Juniata sophomore Isaac Eck won at No. 1 singles, sweeping Jeremy Burnheimer, 6-1, 6-2, in a rematch of the District 6-AA singles finals.

Musselman gave Eck a lot of credit for the team’s success this season.

“He’s definitely made a difference,” Musselman said. “He works so hard and has brought a lot of attention to the program.”

“We’re pretty much a rural school,” Musselman said of the Mifflintown school, “and it’s certainly not a tennis area, but we’re making strides, both with the boys and girls.

“Better days are ahead.”

Juniata’s other win came from the team of Brad Strawser and Chantz Imes, who won the No. 2 doubles, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

“That was a great match,” Westmont coach Mike Kush said. “That Juniata team just would not give up.”

The win by Strawser and Imes evened the match at 2-2 and the Hilltoppers prevailed when Ben Katz beat Luis Pacheco, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 3 singles.

“I thought we had an edge in that one because this court (Summit) is a server’s court and Katz has a great serve,” Kush said.

By winning its third straight D6-AA team title, Westmont advanced to the PIAA Team Tournament and will face Elco of District 3 in the first round Tuesday in Altoona.