10 Columbus-area boys tennis players advance to OHSAA state semifinals
Nason and Rowen Lo downplayed their brotherly doubles partnership, even though the Columbus Academy boys tennis duo will wake up Friday morning two wins from the Division II state championship.
“This was the plan from the beginning, for us to team up,” said Nason Lo, a freshman. “Our chemistry in the beginning was a little shaky but after playing so much together, we’ve really bonded. We’re a lot tighter than before and a lot better as a team.
“And we like each other a lot more now.”
For now, it’s all business for the Lo brothers, who after a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lima Bath’s Daniel and Ezra Bolon in the first round Thursday punched their ticket to the semifinals by outlasting Cincinnati Indian Hill’s Max Berghausen and Michael Ryu 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) at Ohio State.
The Los will take on Pepper Pike Orange’s Chika Nwaozuzu and Gabi Kalir in a semifinal.
“A lot of the credit goes to Nason because I was not all there at the end (of the second-round match),” Rowen, a sophomore, said with a laugh. “Nason was clutch. He really stepped up with a couple big shots. He was locked in and all over the court. He had some clutch volleys in the tiebreaker.”
Eight other area players, including the Bexley doubles team of Sam Lessard and Stefan Schiff, remain alive for championships.
Lessard and Schiff cruised through their first two matches, sweeping Ottawa Hills’ Charlie Estes and Darwin Posta 6-1, 6-2 and Cincinnati Seven Hills’ Ethan Blatt and John Corbett 6-2, 6-3. They will meet Dayton Oakwood’s Arick Baldwin and Noah Boyce in the other Division II semifinal.
In Division I singles, Gahanna Lincoln’s Brandon Carpico will face Cincinnati Sycamore’s Nick Meyers in one semifinal. The other will pit Pickerington North’s Pavan Uppu against Sycamore’s Nick Choo.
Uppu shut out Toledo St. John’s Nick Wood 6-0, 6-0 in the first round before edging Springboro’s Rishi Dore 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-5 in his first three-set match of the season.
“My physicality and mental approach won me the match,” Uppu said. “I want to be more aggressive (Friday), step into the court and finish off points how I want to play.”
Carpico largely breezed through his matches, defeating Solon’s Nikolai Romanov 6-3, 6-1 and Mason’s Greg Bernadsky 6-4, 6-2, but noted a few issues with his serve.
“That made things a little interesting, more in the second match than in the first,” Carpico said. “My first-serve percentage was definitely below 50 percent. If you want to serve at a high level, it has to be 65 or 70 percent, but it was good enough to get me through. I played two tough opponents, good friends and tough, talented guys.”
Carpico was state singles champion as a sophomore and runner-up last year.
New Albany’s Jackson Clements lost to Choo 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the second round. He opened with a 6-2, 6-2 sweep of Avon’s Logan DeHaven.
Upper Arlington’s Ethan Samora fell to Sylvania Southview’s Isaac Vens 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the first round.
Olentangy teams will comprise half of the Division I doubles semifinals and could meet for the championship.
Liberty’s Hummza Ali and Jayanth Ramakkagari defeated Solon’s Aakarsh Garg and Zach Krantz 6-0, 6-4 and Mason’s Connor Buckingham 7-5, 6-1. Orange’s Kallan Arledge and Nikhil Bhimireddy edged Richfield Revere’s Sam Lazbin and Merit Wagstaff 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and beat Westlake’s Rohit Jain and Xander Jhaveri 6-4, 6-3.
New Albany’s Ben Bilenko and Tyler Thomas went 1-1, beating Findlay’s Adra Dastan and Sam Swisher 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 and losing to Cincinnati St. Xavier’s Carson Dwyer and Drew Evans 6-2, 6-1.
Olentangy’s Mitchell MacDowell and Sujan Sriram upset Northwest District champions Ethan Little and Nick Miller of Toledo St. Francis 6-2, 6-4 before falling to Sycamore’s Arjun Rajagopala and Andrew Wittenbaum 6-4, 6-1.
Both of central Ohio’s Division II singles qualifiers, Wellington junior Sanjan Shanker and Academy sophomore Lucas Xue, lost in the second round.
Shanker defeated Ottawa Hills’ Savith Vajendra 6-0, 6-0 and lost to Indian Hill’s Jack Pollock 6-2, 6-0. Xue swept Ottawa Hills’ Jack Kayse 6-2, 6-1 before losing 6-1, 6-0 to Cole Cozens of Seven Hills.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: 10 central Ohio boys tennis players advance to OHSAA state semis