RICHFIELD: There was no need for third sets on Monday when Copley and host Revere met in a Suburban League boys tennis dual.
The Indians and Minutemen faced off in five matches, and all ended after two sets. Copley won four to maintain its undefeated record in league play.
Copley (11-1, 4-0) swept the singles competition against Revere (5-5, 3-2) with senior Jarad Pennington, junior Andrew Ong and senior Austin Aten securing victories.
“We have good players who have solid games,” Copley coach Mark Ullman said. “Most of them can play pretty well in singles or doubles, so we have some versatility. We also have good depth and we have experience. When you combine all that, we should do pretty well.”
Copley returns four qualifiers — Pennington, Ong, Aten and senior Alan Du — from last year’s Division I state tournament. Those four, who played doubles in the postseason, also played pivotal roles in helping Copley to finish fourth in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I State Team Tournament last year.
“We just need to stay together as a team,” Pennington said. “This is a fun experience and it is great to share with the guys. I feel like if we continue to play our games and do what we are doing right now, then we will be good to go.”
Pennington (9-3) defeated junior Noah Hendrickson 6-3, 6-4 in first singles.
“I have always had close matches with Noah,” Pennington said. “We played in the Suburban League finals [at second singles] last year. It went three [sets] and I won. We have similar games and styles. It can go either way when we play each other.”
Ong (12-0) topped junior Kyle Gersman 6-0, 6-0 in second singles. Aten also won his match at third singles 6-0, 6-0 against sophomore Griffen Hansen.
“It was nice to get the win against a big rival like this,” Ong said. “We have had some battles with them the past couple of years.”
Ullman said Du missed Monday’s match due to a college visit. He has already been accepted to Princeton and Yale. Du, who scored a 36 on his ACT and is the class valedictorian, is also a standout soccer player and accomplished chess and piano player.
Copley junior Matt Adzema and freshman Gavin Aten combined to win first doubles 6-3, 6-2 over Revere seniors Brian Carano and Frank Jin.
Revere sophomore Matt Harris and freshman Bharat Kumar won in second doubles 6-3, 6-2 over juniors Nick Adzema and Erik Miller.
“Copley is obviously a very, very good team,” Revere coach Paul Fisher said. “We were hoping to pull off a miracle today, but it didn’t happen. They have got a real strong team with a lot of seniors who have a lot of experience. I have to tip my hat to them. They played very well.
“We are hoping to see them again in the Suburban League Tournament [May 4 at Medina] where we can turn the tables.”
Copley and Revere shared last season’s Suburban League title. Copley was the outright league champs the season before.
“We want to maximize what we are capable of and have everybody play up to their potential,” Ullman said. “We want to keep improving as the season goes along.”