BOYS TENNIS: Dragons take over own Doubles Invitational

LAKEWOOD, N.Y. – The Warren boys tennis team has been sweeping opponents left and right this season, but maybe not yet to this extent.

The defending District 10 champion Dragons swept all five doubles events at the 3rd Annual Warren Doubles Invitational on Saturday at the Lakewood Family YMCA. Ten Dragons on five doubles teams took first-place honors in five separate flights at the four-team event.

Nearly the entire Dragon squad participated. Olean provided a strong contingent of doubles teams as they finished in four of the five doubles finals.

Top Doubles was won by Warren’s Shane Burns and Matt Sandberg; the pair were undefeated with a 3-0 record in the first flight. The feature match was between the Warren and Southwestern’s top pair of Matt Johnson and Quinn White.

“This was a great match as Matt and Shane served well and were dominant at the net,” said Warren coach Jeff Bartsch.

Second Doubles was won by the Dragon standout senior doubles pair of Grayson Foley and Nick Tarpenning. Having won their two preliminary matches, the finals saw the Dragons defeat Olean Huskies Zhi Wang and Mike Materna for top honors.

“Gray and Nick were exceptional today,” said Bartsch. “They served and volleyed well and were dominant at the net. They kept their opponents away from the net with hard drives and good net play.”

Third Doubles was won by another senior Dragon pair of Ylli Bakalli and Liam Boger. They took charge from the beginning and won all three matches with controlled aggression, according to Bartsch.

“Ylli expresses a lot of energy on court and Liam was dominant finishing points off at the net,” said Bartsch. Finishing second was another Olean pair of Pat Brown and Michael Sparkie.

“Brown has Warren connections with family in the area,” said Bartsch.

Fourth Doubles was dominated by Dragons’ Nate Sandberg and Sean McGuinness. The sophomore pair recorded three wins and defeated a tough Olean pair in the finals.

“This pair represents the future of the team and we were pleased that they played so well together,” said Bartsch. “Nate has some major game and Sean stepped up to take the title.”

Fifth Doubles was the largest division with a total of 14 teams participating. Nine of those teams represented Warren. This division was a regular draw format with a backdraw for those who lost in the first round. Sophomore Bryce Bauer and German exchange student Phil Hachula defeated a tough young Olean team in the final round.

“Bryce and Phil were impressive with their serves and their net play was pretty good,” said Bartsch. “Phil is a first-year player and Bryce has come into his own in the past few weeks. We have high hopes for this pair in the upcoming Tri-County Championships on May 1st.

“There were some outstanding matches in this division,” added Bartsch. “It was impressive to witness all of the progress our players have made in the past weeks. All of these matches serve to get us ready for the upcoming Tri-County Championships. That event is just a week and a half away.”

Also winning for the Dragons were the following pairs: Dylan Hansen (10) and Nate Schultz (12) – finished in the semifinals, only loss to finalists; Neil Morrison (11) and Noah Colvin (9) finished in the semifinals – only loss to champs; Alex Bailey (12) and Tyler Mealy (11) – finished in the quarterfinals; Mark Cecco (12) and Eric Cecco (10) – finished in the quarterfinals; Hunter Mohney (12) and Teddy Leos (10); Darren Liu (10) and Steffan Blair (9), and; Max Pierson (10) and Max Gross (10).

The Dragons are 7-0 on the season, 3-0 in region play. They will travel to Corry on Monday to take on the Beavers for the second time this season.