A pair of wins on Friday allows a player through to the semifinals of the OHSAA state tennis tournament on Saturday at Ohio State University.
Sycamore’s off to a great start in Division I. On Friday, in the singles bracket, Sycamore senior Deepak Indrakanti worked his way to the semifinals with 6-3, 6-0 and 6-4, 6-3 wins. Sycamore’s other singles state qualifier, senior Aditya Venkitarama, lost 6-2, 6-1 in the first round.
“All my focus is towards that next match,” Indrakanti said. “It’s always a great environment (at the state tournament). I’m so lucky to have such a great team around me. I’m really happy they’re all up here.”
The Aviators’ doubles team of junior Alex Taylor and senior Nakul Narendran advanced to the semifinals winning 6-2, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-3.
Sycamore’s other doubles team, senior Alex Wittenbaum and sophomore Noah Stern, won 6-0, 6-1 in the first round but lost 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
“It’s absolutely fantastic. Not only having this many guys but just the way they get along and support each other – it’s all I can ask for as a coach,” Sycamore’s Mike Teets said. “They (doubles teams and Deepak) didn’t have a lot of lulls where they got sloppy. We’re gonna stay on people and force them to hit great shots to beat us – that’s our thing.”
Cincinnati Country Day senior Asher Hirsch is once again in the semifinals. Hirsch won his Division II singles matches 6-0, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-0. Hirsch is in search of his third straight state singles title. According to the OHSAA, he would be the fourth person in state history to accomplish the three-peat.
CCD also qualified both its doubles teams to state. The sophomore team of Shaheel Mitra and Vishaal Nalagatla won 6-2, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals. Seniors Chase Tholke and Leonard Behrens fell in the first round.
Indian Hill junior Alex Warstler’s making the most of his third trip to state with a trip to the semifinals after winning 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-3.
“(Saturday) the semifinals await, but we play them one at a time,” said Indian Hill coach Marc Young. “Alexander plays an aggressive game … he likes to attack and I’m hoping he can put that kind of game together because that’s what he’s best at.”
Indian Hill freshman Andrew Pregel, who Marc Young said is 5-foot-3 “maybe triple figures weight-wise,” was ousted 6-0, 6-3 in the first round, but Young was pleased with how he battled.
Wyoming’s senior doubles of Myles Bourbon and Will Carter are into the Division II semifinals winning 6-1, 6-0 and 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.
In the Division I doubles bracket, Mason brought two teams to state. Senior Young-Jin Kang and freshman Shashank Reddy lost in the first round, but junior Sean Reid and senior Nadim Boulos won the most exciting match of the first day in the first round 6-7, 7-5, 7-6(5) before losing in the quarterfinals.
Reid said “persistence” helped them win the marathon match. Boulos added, “We kept telling ourselves ‘keep making shots and we’ll make it a match.'”
Clark Montessori senior Chris Bak, who became the school’s first-ever state qualifier last season, lost 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.
Clark Montessori coach Dan Furlong said, “We started (the program) last year with one player (Bak), and this year we had 10.”
St. Xavier junior Andrew Niehaus was eliminated in the first round 6-2, 6-0 in Division I singles by the defending state champion, Cleveland St. Ignatius’ Nathan Griffin.