COLUMBUS – The 89th annual boys’ state tennis tournament had several familiar faces, but also gave way to newly crowned champions this past weekend at Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center.
It also gave a solid glimpse of the young talent the state will have next year and beyond.
Cincinnati Indian Hill swept the Division II singles and doubles titles. Junior Devin McCarthy, a state doubles champion as a freshman and runner-up as a sophomore, defeated Gahanna Columbus Academy senior Will Petrie 6-4, 6-4 to win the singles title.
“It gives you some confidence and lets you know what you did paid off,” McCarthy said.
Like several high school players, McCarthy will undoubtedly have a busy schedule this summer with a full slate of tournaments. Indian Hill coach Chris Hemingway said he was awfully proud of McCarthy’s determination on the court Saturday.
“He got a great draw and he played by far his best match of the year,” Hemingway said.
Petrie, who will attend Williams College (Massachusetts) next season, said McCarthy took advantages of opportunities.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match because he can hurt you from anywhere on the court,” Petrie said. “He did that and battled through in the end.”
Senior Billy Strunk and junior Omar Salama won the Braves’ second doubles title in the past three seasons.
Hemingway said Strunk and Salama got significantly better the past couple of weeks.
“They just played better every single match,” Hemingway said.
Strunk and Salama defeated Beachwood senior Grant Aronson and sophomore Mark Goldberg 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
In Division I, West Chester Lakota West junior Wyatt Lippert, who was third the past two seasons in singles, won the singles title with a win over New Albany junior Peter Kobelt 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“It’s amazing; it’s a great feeling,” Lippert said.
Lippert, who is 34-1 this season, said he and Kobelt are good friends and have played together and against each other in the past.
Kobelt, who had 29 wins this season, said it’s never fun playing a friend. But, he gave credit to Lippert for making solid shots on the court.
“No one deserves (the state title) more than him,” said Kobelt, who plans to make college visits that include Ohio State and Notre Dame this summer.
In D-I doubles, Columbus Bishop Watterson junior Philip Diaz and freshman Chris Diaz defeated Cincinnati St. Xavier seniors Marc Pretorius and Jonathan Gaffney 7-5, 6-4.
Watterson coach Barb Woods said the brothers were consistent and calm throughout the match.
“They stayed together as a team and that was the whole bottom line,” Woods said.
Despite the loss, St. X coach Russ King said his team quickly turned its focus to the state team tournament Sunday morning.
The Bombers did just that and won their third consecutive Division I state team tournament title Sunday.
The Bombers, the state’s No. 1 ranked Division I team this season, had three seniors sign with Division I colleges, including Patrick Bandy (Kentucky), Pretorius (Xavier) and Gaffney (Washington and Lee).
In Division II, Columbus Academy downed Cincinnati Seven Hills for the team championship.