Columbus Academy boy tennis coach Jeff Warstler has a simple plan for the Division II state tournament Friday and Saturday at Ohio State.

Columbus Academy boy tennis coach Jeff Warstler has a simple plan for the Division II state tournament Friday and Saturday at Ohio State.

Will Petrie is making his fourth appearance, and Warstler will be there for support, but not much coaching.

"He's ready to go," Warstler said. "He's focused and he won't let anything affect him. I told him just to go out and be yourself. He's well aware of what's ahead of him."

Last Saturday at Academy, Petrie won the district title in singles by defeating Ian Wagner of Wellington 6-2, 6-1. Petrie, who finished third at state the last two years, will open state against Michael Fredericks of Warren John F. Kennedy.

"I'm trying to be more aggressive and assert myself a little more," he said. "I think that's helped. Every match (at state) is going to be tough, obviously. The most important thing I've learned is you just go to to out there and lay it out there. It's a fun, great atmosphere and everything is a battle. I have to go in with a mind set I'm going to do whatever it takes to come through."

Last season, Petrie lost a semifinal to Cincinnati Indian Hill's Andrew McCarthy 7-5, 6-2, but rebounded to beat Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit's Nathan Horbath 6-1, 6-3.

According to Petrie, McCarthy's brother, Devin, and Joey Fritz from Cincinnati Country Day will be the top challengers.

"His first couple of years, Will was more of a counter-puncher," Warstler said. "That has completely changed. He dictates the pace. He has the ability to say, 'I'm going to win points,' rather than grind someone out. He can take over. The beauty of it is, if he does need to grind somebody out, he can still do that, too."

Six Academy players qualified to state. In the doubles final at district, Austin Griffin and Joey Frank defeated teammates Pavan Reddy and Eoghan Bahnson 7-6, 7-6.

"The main key is making our first serves," Frank said. "Both Austin and I have strong first serves. We feel confident we could hold serve each time if we make our first serve and we have the net person to put it away."

Griffin and Frank became the first-doubles team midway through the regular season and made the decision to continue playing together in the postseason.

"Austin and I have been good friends for a while," Frank said.

"We always talked that when we get the opportunity we wanted to play together. This year we had it and we wanted to go for it and give it a shot."

In the third-place singles match last Saturday, Khang Thai of Ready defeated Andrew Enslen by default. A day earlier, Enslen battled cramps in a quarterfinal match but managed a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over Chad Pierron of Wheelersburg.

Last season as a freshman, Enslen joined Vivek Varma to advance to state in doubles. They beat Cincinnati Seven Hills Kyle McCall and Matt Tesmond 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-2) before losing to Elida's Landon Neuman and Evan Neuman 6-1, 6-3.

This season, Enslen opted for singles.

"It was his choice," Warstler said. "I ask so much of these guys team-wise, I let them pick. I support him all the way. You got to give him credit. I hope (the state appearance) takes him over the top because he's going to be our No. 1 next year."

Enslen will open against Fritz. Frank and Griffin will face Poland Seminary's Ryan Teckchandani and Zubin Teckchandani and Reddy and Bahnson will face Canton Central Catholic's Jon Esber and Colin Bernier.

Academy will compete Sunday in the Division II OTCA final four at Ohio State. Last season, Academy lost to Indian Hill 3-2 in a semifinal and rebounded to beat Elida 3-0 to finish third.