TROY — Troy boys tennis coach Mark Goldner started the season with not a lot of returning varsity experience.
The season will end with two Trojans doubles teams playing in the D-I district tournament next week at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, near Kings Island next week.
“Both doubles teams are going on and that is pretty good,” Goldner said. “I would say we have had a real good season. We were 15-2. We didn’t win the league, but Tipp had a great team. There is nothing you can do about that.”
Noah George and Genki Masunaga came in as the third seeds after playing first and second singles during the season.
After opening with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Trotwood Madison, they trailed Tippecanoe’s Ryan Hartke and Seth Nichols 3-1 in the opening set before winning 6-4, 6-1.
“They played well,” Goldner said. “Early on in the go-to district match, Tipp was hitting some bombs on first serves. They started to cool off and we settled down.”
Goldner knew Matt Bess and Henry Johnson had a chance of moving on to district.
They defeated Northmont 6-3, 6-1 and defeated the third seed from Greenville 6-1, 6-1.
“Their first match, they came out and were real aggressive against Northmont and that just carried over,” Goldner said. “I thought we had a chance to beat Greenville if they played well. They just played a great match to win the way they did. That was Greenville’s first and second singles players and you could tell the difference. You could tell we were a doubles team and I think that helped us.”
In singles matches, Wyatt Hench defeated Brady Hagen of Sidney 6-0, 6-0 before losing to Sam Steck of Fairborn 6-2, 6-3.
Eli Monnin lost to Charlie Stiver of Vandalia-Butler 6-2, 6-3 and Aiden Miller lost to Mason Kimmel of Tippecanoe 6-1, 6-1.
The Red Devils continued an amazing season under coach Kaci Matthews.
Tippecanoe finished the regular season 14-2 and was perfect in the MVL and rolled through the league tournament with four firsts and a second.
And despite missing two players from the regular rotation Wednesday, Tippecanoe advanced Kessler Hackenberger in singles and Aaron and Cameron Davis in doubles and nearly advanced another doubles team and Luke Blake in singles.
“This is such a tightknit group,” Matthews said. “They have really worked hard and I could not be prouder of what they have accomplished this season.”
Hackenberger, the second seed in singles, dominated his competition to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
He defeated Aiden McKamey of Stebbins and Grant Comer of Springfield by 6-0, 6-0 scores before beating Charlie Stiver of Butler 6-0, 6-1.
The Davises, the top seed in doubles, showed why.
They defeated Stebbins 6-1, 6-0 and Wayne 6-1, 6-1.
“They did (play really well),” Matthews said about the district qualifiers. “I can’t wait to see how far they can take this.”
Ryan Hartke joined Seth Nichols in doubles and they nearly earned a berth at district.
Before their match with Troy, they defeated Bellefontaine 6-1, 6-2 and outlasted Springfield 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4.
“This was great experience for Ryan to get to play at sectionals,” Matthews said. “They great things is both of them are back.”
In singles, Luke Blake just missed advancing.
The fourth seed defeated William Deever of Springfield 6-0, 6-1 and Victor Odumondu of Trotwood-Madison 6-1, 6-1 before losing to Sam Steck of Fairborn 6-3, 7-6 (5).
In another singles match, Mason Kimmel defeated Aiden Miller of Troy 6-1, 6-1; before losing to top seed Grant Hoying of Sidney 6-0, 6-0.
“I am sure this is motivation to work hard in the off-season and continue the success we have had,” Matthews said.
First-year coach Wyatt Heinz said his team saved their best for last.
Looking to rebuild the program, Heinz had plenty to smile about Wednesday.
Cael Barr won two matches in singles and Ayden Black and Seth Foster won a doubles.
Barr defeated Angel Odumodu of Trotwood-Madison 6-2, 6-1 and Stephen Peters of Northmont 6-4, 6-2, before losing to Hoying 6-2, 6-1.
Stephen Dolder defeated Takuma Furukawa of Sidney 7-6, 6-2 (6-4) before losing to Matthew Correll of Northmont 6-0, 6-0.
Ayden and Black defeated Tecumseh 6-3, 7-5; before losing to Wayne 6-2, 6-0.
“This is the best day we have had all year,” Heinz said. “Cael (Barr) came in here and won two matches and our doubles team won one match. And Stephen Dolder at second singles won a match. When we started the season, 80 percent of our team hadn’t picked up a racket before March. They are excited now. They are talking about getting memberships to Schroeder’s and getting out and playing this summer.”
In another singles match, Lance Staley lost to Brady Hagen of Sidney 6-1, 6-3; and in a doubles match, Gabriel Switzer and Phillip Rossman lost to Fairborn 6-0, 6-0.
D-I and D-II semifinals are at 9 a.m. Saturday at Troy High School and Troy City Park, with first and third-place matches to follow.