With a pair of 3-0 victories, the Wellington School boys tennis team captured its second consecutive Division II state championship in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament May 26 at Elysium Tennis Center.
In the title match against Youngstown Ursuline, Trevor Ball won 6-0, 6-0 over Austin Arfaras at first singles, Milan Gonela won 6-0, 6-1 over Sean O’Connor at second singles and Griffin Biernat won 6-0, 6-0 over Glenn Christopher at third singles.
“It was pretty good for the team to bring it home for the second year in a row,” Ball said.
Wellington, which finished 13-3, beat Cincinnati Country Day in a semifinal. Gonela won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles, Biernat won 7-6, 6-1 at third singles and the second-doubles team of Ben Marshall and Evan Manley won 6-3, 6-2.
Also competing in both matches was the first-doubles team of Adam Sorrels and Anarag Reddy, who are the program’s only seniors.
Ball battled sickness and cramping during the state individual tournament May 25 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, losing in a semifinal and then defaulting the third-place match to finish fourth.
Last season in the team tournament, Wellington beat Cincinnati Indian Hill 3-2 for the title with a lineup that also included Ball, Biernat, Gonela and Sorrels.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Gonela said. “(We) pretty much (put) all of our effort into this team final.”Division I
Making its fourth consecutive Division I state tournament appearance, New Albany fell to Mason 3-1 in a semifinal but rebounded to defeat Findlay 4-0 in the third-place match May 26.
Ohio State recruit Robert Cash gave the Eagles their only win against the Comets, beating Niraj Komatineni 6-1, 6-1. Komatineni had won the Division I individual singles championship the previous day.
Against the Trojans, Nathan Jose beat Drew Swisher 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Ryan Mudre shut out Mac Robertson 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, the first-doubles team of Alek Jacoby and Logan Spiess swept Andrew Gilgen and Logan Tichenor 6-4, 6-2 and Dev Vasani and Ben Yan topped Blake Gray and Kevin Kuhn 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles.
New Albany finished 16-2. The Eagles were third at state in 2016 and runner-up each of the past two seasons.
“We came close. There was literally a handful of points that separated us from being able to do something pretty special as a team,” coach Marc Thomas said. “We’re still one of the best teams in the state. On a different day, maybe things would have been different. I wouldn’t trade these guys for any other team. Everybody showed up today and everybody gave everything they had. That loss to Mason was one of the toughest we’ve ever had. but we came back out and played very well.”
Mason defeated Hunting Valley University School 3-1 in the championship match.