Playing the same opponent twice in two weeks didn’t bother Eighty Four’s Matt Lynch.
Lynch, who is home-schooled and competes as the only member of Bentworth’s team, defeated Greensburg Central Catholic’s Bargo Patel, 6-1, 6-4, Tuesday in the third-place match of the WPIAL Class AA boys singles tournament to earn a berth in the PIAA playoffs.
Lynch also beat Patel last week to win a second consecutive Section 1-AA title.
“It was very similar to the section final,” said Lynch, who won the section championship match 6-2, 7-6 (2). “I had my way with him the first set. My serves were on. I was moving good. Forehand was great.
“Then he stepped it up in the second set like he did in the section tournament. He started getting more back, started moving me. He forced me to beat him. He’s a great player. He doesn’t stop playing.”
Lynch now has a rather lengthy layoff before the PIAA tournament, which will be May 24-25.
Joshua St. Clair of Chartiers-Houston was the only other Class AA player competing in the two-day event, but he suffered a 10-1 loss to Vincentian’s Derek Chen in the first round.
Chen eventually won the Class AA title, beating Lynch, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-0 in a three-and-a-half hour match in the semifinals.
That, along with a 10-3 win over Sewickley Academy’s Patrick Dillinger in the quarterfinals, gave Lynch plenty of motivation for the PIAA tournament. Not to mention a few things to work on.
“Consistency is everything,” Lynch said of what he’s going to take away from this tournament. “If you look at pro matches, at the end it’s usually who had the most unforced errors who lost.
“To keep the ball in and in play is key, especially at this level. You also have to hit winners and win points.”
In the Class AAA draw, Peters Township’s Brendan Dollard lost, 10-0, in the first round to Chad Kissell of Latrobe. Teammate Mitch Kreider won his first-round match, 10-5, over Cullen Price of Penn-Trafford before dropping a 10-7 decision to Caleb Kramer of Pine-Richland.