Senior Hiromi Nakayama of the Dublin Coffman High School boys tennis team took a major step forward in the Division I state tournament a year ago, as he went 1-1 in singles, after losing his opener in the event each of the previous two seasons.

Senior Hiromi Nakayama of the Dublin Coffman High School boys tennis team took a major step forward in the Division I state tournament a year ago, as he went 1-1 in singles, after losing his opener in the event each of the previous two seasons.

Based on how well he has played this season, coach Brett Hundertpfund is confident Nakayama is capable of advancing even further in the 2012 state tournament, which will be held Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26, at Ohio State.

"Hiromi has never looked better as far as his strokes and his fitness, so I expect him to make some noise at state," Hundertpfund said. "He has great groundstrokes and he's super-fast, so I want to see him have fun and be aggressive. At this point, it's all about him staying healthy, playing his game and keeping his confidence up, because he's very difficult to beat when he does those things."

Nakayama went 3-1 and placed second in singles in the district tournament, which was held May 18 and 19 at Hilliard Davidson.

He opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Westerville Central's Mitra Patel and downed Upper Arlington's Brandon Griffin 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

Nakayama then beat Gahanna's Canyon Teague 6-2, 6-1 in a semifinal before losing to Upper Arlington's Stu Little 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

"The fact that Hiromi has made it to state four years in a row is incredible," Hundertpfund said. "He played great in his first two matches."

The top four district placers in singles and doubles qualified for state.

Jack Buchan and Leon Cai went 3-1 and placed third in doubles to advance to state for the first time.

Buchan and Cai opened with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Gahanna's Dan Emoff and Eric Chen before defeating UA's Peter Pema and Ben Minton 6-3, 6-4.

In a semifinal, Buchan and Cai lost to New Albany's Alex Kobelt and Oliver Sybert 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, before defeating Jerome's Jared Judson and Frank Kuo 6-3, 6-2 in a consolation final.

"Jack and Leo came out and executed their shots, and they played a heck of a match against Upper Arlington to qualify for state," Hundertpfund said. "Leon is incredible at volleys and Jack has a big serve. One guy didn't carry this team because they had excellent teamwork out there. Leon was diving for shots, and when he didn't get there, Jack was able to slide behind him and cover for him. They just work so well together."

Hundertpfund wants Buchan and Cai to play loose at state.

"This is their first time going to state so I want them to just go out there and enjoy the experience, win or lose," Hundertpfund said. "Of course, they are going to try to win matches at state, but I'll be happy with them as long as they have fun and play hard."

At district, Brian Do and Rohit Joshi opened with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 loss to St. Charles' Stuart Swartz and Michael Susa.

"They played a three-setter where they lost some tough points or they may have made it through," said Hundertpfund, whose squad finished 11-5 overall in dual matches.

Jerome duo qualifies for state tourney

Jerome's doubles team of Judson and Kuo went 2-2 and placed fourth in the Division I district tournament to qualify for state for the first time.

The duo opened with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Groveport's Dylan Merle and Evan Zimmerman before defeating St. Charles' Swartz and Susa 6-4, 6-0 in the second round.

Judson and Kuo then lost to UA's Jeffrey Melvin and William Schmit 6-1, 6-2 in a semifinal before losing to Buchan and Cai.

"Most No. 4 seeds don't make it to state, but Frank and Jared drew the most vulnerable No. 1 seed and played really well together to win their first two matches," coach Tyler Stephen said. "Frank and Jared knew they were fortunate to get that draw, and they didn't waste that once-in-a-career opportunity.

"For state, their goal is to continue playing well together and to get to the second round, because that would make them all-Ohio."

Kent Seitz opened with a 6-0, 6-2 win over UA's Anthony Yang but lost to Gahanna's Canyon Teague 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.

"Kent caught a tough break because Canyon's a good player and he was a tough draw for the second round," Stephen said. "It was frustrating because that was a winnable match for him. Kent just didn't have it. He was flat and he missed too many shots."

Kevin Lin and Patrick Liu opened with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Pema and Minton.

"Patrick and Kevin both played well at times, but they weren't able to put it together and play well at the same time throughout the match," said Stephen, whose squad finished 15-2 in dual matches. "They had their chances in the second set but couldn't finish them."

Scioto falls short at district

Scioto's doubles team of Ben Albert and Jeffrey Lam went 1-1 in the Division I district tournament.

Albert and Lam opened with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Reynoldsburg's Sai Korada and Pope Lake before losing to New Albany's Alex Kobelt and Oliver Sybert 6-2, 6-0 in the second round.

Sean Ferguson also went 1-1 in singles, beating Olentangy Orange's Doug Ganim by forfeit and losing to Reynoldsburg's Cameron Ragland 6-2, 6-1.

"Sean played real well and he had a great match with Ragland, but Ragland won more of the key points," said coach Mike Wrigley, whose squad lost to Pickerington North 3-2 on May 15 to finish 16-5 overall in dual matches. "Ganim couldn't play because he was sick, so Sean was rested, but Ragland got to play a match to get warmed up, so I have mixed emotions about if the forfeit was an advantage or disadvantage.

"Ben and Jeff played great doubles tennis, but they just ran into a tough team in their second match."