Ellian Ascencio, Connor Bruce (copy)

Eleanor Bailey

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Ellian Ascencio, left, and Connor Bruce

Connor Bruce and Ellian Ascencio had big dreams for tennis this spring. Because neither could play individually in the postseason, the pair pooled their talents and achieved their objective. Over Memorial Day weekend, Bruce and Ascencio became state champions. The Peters Township duo defeated Shady Side Academy’s tandem of Naman Dua and Colin Gramley, 6-3, 6-3, in the PIAA Class AAA doubles championship match played at the Hershey Racquet Club. From the start, the odds were against the pair, who were the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players on the Peters Township varsity team. Bruce broke his ankle in a freak fall off a curb early this spring and Ascencio also could not compete in the WPIAL singles tournament because of a prior commitment. Plus, Bruce was the 2017 WPIAL singles champion. “It was disappointing not to be able to compete in singles but I told Ellian we could go for doubles,” Bruce said. He then predicted, “We are going to win state doubles.” In the finals, Bruce and Ascencio swept the WPIAL champions.

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