Freshman Stu Brdicka and senior Kevin Miller weren't very competitive as a doubles team in the Division I state tournament.

Freshman Stu Brdicka and senior Kevin Miller weren't very competitive as a doubles team in the Division I state tournament.

Nevertheless, Olentangy High School boys tennis coach Jeff Luxenburger said he was proud of the duo after they lost to Toledo St. John's Kevin Brown and Rejeev Laungani 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of the tournament May 29 at Ohio State.

"State was a fantastic experience for our team," Luxenburger said. "Though we didn't play up to our abilities, it was an honor to be playing on that stage."

Brdicka and Miller went 2-2 and placed fourth in the district tournament held May 22 at Hilliard Davidson and May 23 at Upper Arlington. Also at district, senior Arun Esakkirajmohan went 0-1 in singles.

"I'm so proud of our guys for making it to state," Luxenburger said. "It's the first time any boys from our school have made it to that stage and it's all due to the hard work that Stu and Kevin put in all year round. This is a great steppingstone for Olentangy's tennis program."

In a sectional held May 14 and 16 at Pickerington Central, Brdicka and Miller went 4-0 and placed first, and Esakkirajmohan went 4-1 and placed third. Freshman Alex Konstan and junior Vignesh Nandakumar went 2-1 in doubles, senior Madhav Shah went 1-1 in singles and junior Ganesh Yeluguri went 0-1 singles.

The Braves finished 10-7 overall and fourth (4-3) in the OCC-Capital Division behind New Albany (7-0), Orange (6-1) and Worthington Kilbourne (5-2) and ahead of Big Walnut (3-4), Delaware (2-5), Mount Vernon (1-6) and Franklin Heights (0-7).

"Our j.v. team finished at an incredible 13-2, which ... bodes really well for the future of our program," Luxenburger said. "With such a strong j.v. record, we have a ton of really great underclassmen who are going to be contributors and are excited to step up and be leaders on varsity next year.

"Stu making it to state as a freshman is a huge accomplishment and I know he wants to keep building on that in the next three years. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do next year with the enthusiasm and dedication of this group and with so many strong players returning and stepping up."

Pioneers sent four to district

Orange's season ended at district, with the teams of seniors Kaleb Kok and Stephen Spezzano and freshman Jordan Phelps and sophomore Jonathan Zhuravel each going 1-1 in doubles.

In a sectional at Davidson, Phelps and Zhuravel went 4-0 to place first and Kok and Spezzano went 3-1 and placed second. In singles, sophomore Kyle Brace and junior Malcolm Low each went 2-1 and junior Samay Pahouja went 0-1.

"Our tournament results were a program best in terms of number of wins, though it was disappointing that Zhuravel and Phelps did not ... qualify for the state tournament," coach Matt Rutherford said. "Getting two doubles teams to the qualifying round is still excellent progress. Malcolm Low and Kyle Brace each won two matches at the sectional tournament, which is solid progress for them as players."

The Pioneers finished 12-3 overall, including defeating Liberty 4-1 on May 5 and Olentangy 3-2 on April 14.

"Stephen Spezzano and Kaleb Kok are our seniors who played first doubles," Rutherford said. "Stephen was a captain, but they both exhibited excellent leadership qualities that will be missed greatly next season."

Expected to return are Zhuravel at first singles, Phelps at second singles and Low at third singles, while "Kyle Brace, Samay Pahouja and (sophomore) Connor Wolfe will likely play at doubles," Rutherford said. "We have a few young players coming up (so) our best years are ahead of us. This year was very successful. However, the players are very hungry to build upon that success and accomplish more."

Do represented Patriots at district

Liberty sophomore Hoang Do competed in the district tournament for the first time and lost to Upper Arlington's Jack Zelezny 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.

Do went 3-2 and placed fourth in the Reynoldsburg sectional.

Also at sectional, senior Sonny Caradonna and sophomore Arjun Bakshi went 2-1 in doubles, juniors Mohit Daga and Daniel Moran went 1-1 in doubles and freshman Julian Patterson and junior Jay Thankappan both went 0-1 in singles.

Liberty finished 6-8 overall, going 2-5 in matches decided by 3-2 scores, and placed fourth (4-3) in the OCC-Central behind UA (7-0), Dublin Coffman (6-1) and Davidson (5-2) and ahead of Marysville (3-4), Thomas Worthington (2-5), Westland (1-6) and Central Crossing (0-7).

"We were young and we lost several matches that could have gone either way," coach Andrew Sinclair said. "Hoang Do made it a step further in the tournament, which was our biggest highlight."

Liberty's top two singles players are expected to return in Do and Thankappan, along with its first-doubles team of Daga and Moran.

"Sonny's our only senior, but the Patterson twins (Jacob and Julian) are moving to California," Sinclair said. "Hoang Do has two more years to go and he's already not far away from beating the best players in the area. We have good freshmen who will move up to replace the three we're losing, so I'm already looking forward to next year."