Will Raybuck and Stephen Cheng of the Gahanna Lincoln High School boys tennis team lost in the first round of the Division I district tournament last Friday at Hilliard Davidson.

Will Raybuck and Stephen Cheng of the Gahanna Lincoln High School boys tennis team lost in the first round of the Division I district tournament last Friday at Hilliard Davidson.

Raybuck and Cheng fell to New Albany's John Buell and Riyad Bennoui 6-4, 6-0.

"They were obviously a really good team," said Raybuck, who like Cheng was making his first appearance at district.

It was tied at 4 in the first set before Buell and Bennoui won the next eight games.

"We came out in the first set and made them play," Raybuck said. "At 4-4, we were giving them a run for their money. The last two games (of the first set) we started making more errors than them. That was the big difference in the second set as well."

New Albany won 10 of the first 12 points in the second set to open a 2-0, 30-love advantage.

"We just never recovered from that," coach Mike O'Callaghan said. "(Losing 6-0) doesn't indicate how good and close the tennis was, but they were just never able to get the last two points of a game."

Cheng thought the emotional swing of losing the first set was too much to take.

"That first set we were so excited," Cheng said. "All of a sudden they got better and crushed our confidence."

Defending state champions Philip and Chris Diaz of Waztterson won the title, beating Kevin Metka and Jonny Price of Worthington Kilbourne in the final. Last year's state runner-up, Peter Kobelt of New Albany, beat Olentangy Liberty's Arren Carter in the singles final.

Buell and Bennoui lost to Metka and Price 6-3, 6- 2 in the second round.

"We did a great job to get there," O'Callaghan said. "Our guys had a great tournament but they just weren't as good as some of the teams there."

Cheng, a freshman, should have more opportunities to qualify for district in doubles or singles. O'Callaghan said Cheng could go to district by himself or team with junior Jesse Shivener, the No. 1 singles player.

Raybuck, a senior, said reaching the district was an accomplishment.

"This was icing on the cake, really," he said Raybuck. "After our OCC victory just to get to district was great."

Gahanna finished 13-4 overall after beating Big Walnut 4-1 on May 18.