The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus-area players pursue state titles
State championship weekend in boys tennis begins Thursday, and central Ohio players and teams feel like their title window is wide open.
The OHSAA individual tournament will be played at Ohio State on Thursday and Friday, followed by the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament Sunday at New Albany.
On the individual side, last year’s Division I singles and doubles champions graduated. Pepper Pike Orange senior Ben Pomeranets is the defending Division II singles champion, and the smallschool doubles field is clear of last year’s title-winning tandem of Tejas Pesati and R.J. Poffenberger from Cincinnati Indian Hill. Poffenberger is playing singles this year, and Pesati graduated.
Here is a look at the state tournaments from a central Ohio perspective:
Division I: Gahanna Lincoln’s Carpico seeks second title
Coming off his third consecutive district championship, Gahanna senior Brandon Carpico looks to win his second state title in three years on the same courts where he will play in college.
Carpico’s next win will be the 100th of his career. He takes on Solon senior Nikolai Romanov in the first round.
Other area singles players in the field are seniors Ethan Samora from Upper Arlington and Pavan Uppu from Pickerington North and New Albany sophomore
Jackson Clements. Samora and Uppu are at state for the second time, and Clements earned his first berth.
In doubles, Olentangy Orange senior Kallan Arledge finished third last year with 2022 graduate Parth Patel and is teamed this year with freshman Nikhil Bhimireddy.
Olentangy Liberty juniors Hummza Ali and Jayanth Ramakkagari are the only intact doubles team back at state from a year ago. They lost 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the first round to eventual runners-up Mark Karev and Nick Meyers from Cincinnati Sycamore.
Three-time qualifier Ben Bilenko from New Albany teams with freshman Tyler Thomas. Also representing the area are Olentangy senior Mitchell Macdowell and junior Sujan Sriram, both first-time qualifiers.
Division II: Wellington’s Shanker returns to field
Jaguars junior Sanjan Shanker roared back from a shutout loss in the first set of Saturday’s district final, beating defending champion, sophomore and two-time state qualifier Lucas Xue of Columbus Academy 0-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Shanker, who went 1-1 at state as a freshman, lost to Xue 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 on April 20 in an MSL-OHIO Division match.
Xue lost to Pomeranets in the second round last year and could get a rematch in a semifinal.
Bexley senior Stefan Schiff and sophomore Sam Lessard won the district doubles title, outlasting Academy sophomore Rowen Lo and freshman Nason Lo 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Those four are the only area players in the field.
Columbus Academy, Olentangy Orange prepare for OTCA tourney
Orange is making its first OTCA appearance, coming off a 3-0 win at New Albany in the Division I district final last Thursday. The Pioneers (10-2), who snapped the Eagles’ six-year run of district titles, will face Lima Shawnee or Toledo St. John’s in a semifinal.
Solon and Sycamore round out the Division I field. The championship and third-place matches are set for Sunday afternoon.
Academy beat Bexley 3-1 in the Division II district final Friday to earn its second state berth in three years. The Vikings (16-2) will play Lexington or Ottawa Hills in a semifinal, then match up with Cincinnati Seven Hills School or Pepper Pike Orange to decide first or third place.