Peter Kobelt of the New Albany High School boys tennis team will head Friday and Saturday to Ohio State for his fourth state tournament, but for the first time he won't have any teammates with him.

Peter Kobelt of the New Albany High School boys tennis team will head Friday and Saturday to Ohio State for his fourth state tournament, but for the first time he won't have any teammates with him.

Kobelt won a second consecutive Division I district title in singles last Friday and last Saturday at Hilliard Davidson, but New Albany failed to advance anyone else.

Riyad Bennoui and John Buell lost to Kevin Metka and Jonny Price of Worthington Kilbourne 6-3, 6-2 in a quarterfinal. Coach Andy Sinclair said he worried primarily about drawing Metka and Price or Billy Weldon and James Melvin of Upper Arlington in the second round, but he knew there was a good chance that one of the two teams would be in New Albany's quarter. The Eagles didn't consider Metka and Price unbeatable, but Sinclair acknowledged that they were near-perfect last Friday.

"To be honest, Kilbourne played great," Sinclair said.

"They both served well, they volleyed well. I don't think we had a sniff at breaking serve. We got beat by a good team, that's all I can say."

Kobelt lost just three games in his first two matches, including a 6-3, 6-0 win over Sean Stein of Dublin Jerome in his quarterfinal. Last season, Kobelt had a much closer match in that round, beating Kyle Gerber of St. Charles 6-3, 7-5.

"That was a really tight match (last year)," Kobelt said. "This year I got through a little bit easier. Sean Stein is a great player. He's young. He serves and volleys and I really like his game, but he's just young."

Kobelt beat Gerber 6-2, 6-3 in a semifinal and three-time state qualifier Arren Carter of Olentangy Liberty 7-5, 7-5 in the final.

New Albany's two other singles competitors lost in the first round. Sam Romanoff lost to eventual third-place finisher Hiromi Nakayama of Dublin Coffman 6-1, 6-2 and Sean Yun lost to Carter 6-0, 6-1.

In doubles, Ryan McNutt and Oliver Sybert lost to Jeremy Mokry and Ben McClarren of Hilliard Davidson 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round. Sinclair said Sybert was less than 100 percent because of a pulled muscle suffered during the week.

At state, Kobelt will look to earn the title after losing to Wyatt Lippert of West Chester Lakota West 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final last year. Kobelt won the Division II doubles title with 2008 graduate Skyer Engel in 2007. Lippert is still in the field this season, but Sinclair said Kobelt's game has improved noticeably in the past year.

"He's done a lot of work in the weight room, and he's increased his serve speed by probably 10 or 15 percent, which is saying something, because it wasn't slow last year," Sinclair said. "His forehand is just dangerous from anywhere on the court. But his ability to move and create and come over the backhand is a big improvement. His backhand is no longer a detriment. He is a scary proposition for anybody."

Kobelt said he's worked to become a better all-around player so he won't have to rely on his powerful serve and forehand to carry him every match.

"I tweak everything every match," Kobelt said. "Not everything shows up for every match. Some matches I won't have my forehand, other matches I will, and so on and so forth. Every match, I write something down just to try to remember, like on my forehand, move my feet a little bit more. Every day you're going to play a match, and you're not going to have every tool in the tool box every day."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the New Albany boys tennis team:

Last Friday-Saturday -- Competed in Division I district tournament at Hilliard Davidson. Peter Kobelt won the singles title. No other players advanced to the state tournament.

Last Wednesday -- Played Upper Arlington in OTCA Division I regional final. The winner will play in the state tournament Sunday at Ohio State.

Friday-Saturday -- At state at Ohio State

Of note: The Eagles were 11-1 overall before last Wednesday.