Sunday, May 28, 2000

St. X bridesmaid again in state tennis

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

        COLUMBUS — St. Xavier tennis coach Russ King believes he's qualified more players for the Division I state tournament than any other coach — certainly more than any coach who's never produced a champion.

        King thought he had a good shot this year after getting two doubles teams to the semifinals, but he could appreciate the irony of seeing both teams eliminated by a team from a school that had never had a tennis player reach the state tournament.

        The Medina team of senior Mike Noreika and sophomore Patrick Thompson, which barely qualified for the state tournament with a sixth-place finish in its district, eliminated the St. Xavier duo of sophomore Andy Bartish and senior Bob Ernst, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5, in Saturday morning's semifinals. Noreika and Thompson followed up in the afternoon by playing three more 12-game sets to outlast the Bombers' Sean Shiels and Neil Sehgal, 7-5, 5-7 and 7-6 (7-4), in a grueling championship match that lasted more than two hours.

        “I feel like a bridesmaid,” King said. “I haven't won, but I'm close all the time. I thought this would be the year.”

        This wasn't the year for Cincinnati teams in Divisions I or II.

        Jason Zimmermann lost, 6-0, 6-1. The Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy junior was 33-0 going into his semifinal match against defending state champion Mike Rubin of Canton Central Catholic.

        Indian Hill junior Ryan McCarthy also lost to a Canton Central Catholic player, senior Joel Carney, in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-3.

        “I just didn't show up,” said Zimmermann, who beat McCarthy, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, for third place. “(Rubin) really didn't have to play that well to beat me.”

        “Overall, it wasn't a good performance,” CHCA coach Lynn Nabors-McNally said. “(Zimmermann) really didn't do what we talked about.”

        Walnut Hills freshman Eric Thomas finished fourth in Division I after losing to Geneva junior Jeff Kader, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, in the semifinals and Canton McKinley senior Ben Kirksey, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), in the consolation match.

        Division I Singles

        Derrick Spice, Grafton Midview def. Ben Kirksey, Canton McKinley 6-1, 6-2; Jeff Kader, Geneva def. Eric Thomas, Cin. Walnut Hills 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

        Third Place: Kirksey def. Thomas 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)

        Final: Spice def. Kader 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.


        Patrick Thompson-Mike Noreika, Medina def. Andy Bartish-Bob Ernst, St. Xavier 6-4, 5-7, 7-5; Neil Sehgai-Sean Shiels, St. Xavier def. Andy Fisher-Tommy Hurst, Up. Arlington 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

        Third Place: Fisher-Hurst def. Bartish-Ernst, 7-5, 6-4.

        Final: Thompson-Noreika def. Sehgai-Shiels, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4)

        Division II Singles

        Michael Rubin, Canton Cent. Cath. def. Jason Zimmerman, CHCA, 1, 6-0; Joel Carney, Canton Cent. Cath. def. Ryan McCarthy, Indian Hill 6-2, 6-3.

        Third Place: Zimmerman def. McCarthy 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

        Final: Rubin def. Carney 6-2, 7-5.


        Zack Fayne-Brian Steginsky, Cols. Wellington def. Aaron Mabra-Josh Mabra, Spring. Cath. Cent. 7-5, 0-6, 6-3; Nick Lewis-Tripp Hande, Hunting Valley def. Jami Kish-Chris Consolo, Chagrin Falls 6-0, 6-2.

        Third: Mabra-Mabra def. Kish-Consolo, 6-0, 6-2.

        Final: Lewis-Hande def. Fayne-Steginsky, 6-2, 7-5.


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