BETHEL PARK – With few outdoor matches under his belt this spring and temperatures more like summer, Jacob Patterson of South Fayette didn’t want to stay out on the tennis courts at Bethel Park High School too long as he battled for the Section 4-AAA singles title.
So, the junior made quick work of Philip Gorun from Mt. Lebanon. Patterson rolled up a straight set, 6-0, 6-0, victory to claim the championship.
“It was very hot today so I wanted to finish the points as quickly as possible,” Patterson explained. “I tried not to stay too long because I know he’s not going to miss unless I’m the aggressor. That was my big plan.
“I was pleased with my performance. I think I took care of business. I knew I could win the match. I just had to make sure I played my best tennis.”
During the sectional, Patterson blanked his first-round opponents Tanush Bahl from Bethel Park and Paul Langbein from Chartiers Valley in back-to-back pro sets, 10-0. In the semifinals, he also shutout Peters Township’s Ellian Ascencio, 6-0, 6-0, to set up the championship match against Gorun.
Patterson now enters the WPIAL Class AAA singles championships as one of the top seeds. The tournament will be held April 13-14 with the championships set for North Allegheny.
“My goal is to at least get to the finals and hopefully win,” Patterson said. “I know the competition will be a lot stronger. So I have to prepare myself for that.”
As a freshman, Patterson finished fourth in the district. Because of COVID-19, there were no spring sports in 2020.
“It was a bummer about last year but I think my experience helps me,” Patterson said. “When I was younger, I did not expect much but I grew more confident.
“Playing in more pressure situations like the consolation match will only help me succeed.”
Two years of development and improvement on his forehand have prepared Patterson for a run at a WPIAL title.
“I think I have gotten better over the years. I still have two years left to reach my goals,” he said.
Gorun, Ascencio and David Lusk from Peters Township will join Patterson in the WPIAL singles tournament. They were the top four finishers in the section. Ascencio and Lusk battled each other in the consolation match.