After finishing 7-9 last season, the Loveland High School boys tennis team would like to return to its 2013 form when the boys won the Eastern Cincinnati Conference championship. The Tigers were 4-2 in the ECC last season for third place.
In his 20th year, coach Jeff Sharpless returns four starters in seniors Johan Harris and Zak Kadish and sophomores Christian Harris and Ali Syed. Sharpless also looks for contributions from junior Ryan Lutz.
Johan Harris was ECC first team in doubles a year ago, while the doubles team of Christian Harris and Zak Kadish were honorable mention.
“We have a nice combination of veterans and new ‘blood’,” Sharpless said. “All of our players have worked diligently throughout the year to improve their game.”
Upon their return from spring break, Loveland hosts Oak Hills on April 8 and Milford April 10.
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy had a smattering of its players including Nathaniel Hipsley, Chris Bolinger, Andrew Breeze-Stringfellow, John Wells, Justin Sikkema, David Humphrey and Michael O’Brien receive all-Miami Valley Conference recognition last season.
No further information was available as of press time.
The only place to go is up in the Greater Catholic League-South for Moeller High School’s tennis team as St. Xavier has had a stranglehold on the championship dating back to when The Beatles were still playing concerts (1965).
The Crusaders tied for second in the league at 3-3 and were 14-5 overall last season under coach Alex Thompson. They have had four consecutive winning seasons.
The roster is young with five juniors and two sophomores. Juniors Michael Tepe, Kelley Peter and Alec Hoelker are returning starters along with sophomore Max Berky. Sophomore Michael Keyser also should figure into the equation and juniors Joe Burns and Justin Cashman are also on the squad.
Tepe was GCL-South second team in singles in 2014, going 4-2 in the league and 17-3 overall in second singles. Berky played third singles and was 4-2 in the league and 12-6 overall. Peter, Keyser and Hoelker were mainly doubles players a year ago.
“This is a very fun, young team who really wants to win,” Thompson said. “They have been putting in a ton of work that will hopefully pay off.”
Moeller returns after their spring break to take on Springfield April 13.
St. Xavier High School has endured a long, and seemingly endless reign at the top of the tennis world in the Greater Catholic League South. The Bombers have won the conference every year since 1967 and this year doesn’t look any different.
With four returning starters, the Bombers look formidable again. Junior Andrew Niehaus resumes his spot at first singles. Last season, Niehaus was the GCL South Player of the Year and a Division I state singles qualifier. Sophomore Peter Schulteis is another returning singles starter along with junior Waqas Tanveer.
Senior Connor Aronoff and junior Neil Bostick return as starters, both were first team All-GCL South last season. Also back are seniors Nate Johns and J.P. Bosse with sophomore Cameron Geoppinger – those three will rotate depending on how they’re playing, said coach Russ King, now in his 31st season with the Bombers.
“I like how young (the team) is, and we have a number of good, young kids coming in next year,” said King. “They’re coachable and they listen; I’m looking forward to seeing how they mature.”
The Bombers will have their work cut out for them this season.
“Our schedule this year is horrendous, we’re playing all the top teams in the state,” King said.
King would also like to see his young team grow and hit the weight room.
“They’re all young and they’re not real big guys; normally we have bigger guys,” said King. “The goal this year is to get them bigger, and they swear they’re gonna do it but saying it is one thing and doing it is another.”