BOYS TENNIS: Dragons dominate Tri-County

SHARON – The Warren boys tennis team dominated the Tri-County Tennis Championships at Buhl Park on Wednesday. In a field of 10 high school tennis teams, the Dragons were in the finals of all eight events. The Dragons won seven of the eight flighted events and finished second in the other.

Warren copped the team trophy for the second straight year by scoring 65 points to earn first-place honors. Kennedy Catholic finished second with 19 points, followed by Greenville with 18 points.

Warren started the day with Fourth Doubles in which the Dragons represented 11 of the 32 doubles pairs. By the quarterfinals, Warren had seven of the eight teams remaining in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Dragons Dylan Hansen and Nate Schultz defeated Sean McGuinness and Tristan Boger by a 7-2 tiebreak score after 7-games all. The other all-Warren semi pitted freshman Noah Colvin and junior Neil Morrison versus the brother team of sophomore Eric Cecco and first-year senior Mark Cecco. The brother pair prevailed by an 8-5 margin.

Winning the Fourth Doubles championship was sophomore Hansen and first-year senior Schultz. This pair defeated Eric and Mark Cecco of Warren by a 10-8 score.

“This is the only event in which Warren could have played another Warren team,” said Warren coach Jeff Bartsch. “We scored all of the available points for this division.”

In doubles events, the Dragons swept all four events, as they did last year. In addition to fourth doubles, the Dragons dominated first, second and third doubles as well. Winning Third Doubles was sophomore Bryce Bauer and Phil Hachula, our German exchange student who never played before this season. Second Doubles was won by seniors Liam Boger and Ylli Bakalli. First Doubles was won by seniors Grayson Foley and Nick Tarpenning.

In the four singles events, Dragons represented in all finals. Fourth Singles was won by Connor Clendenen with a 10-7 win over his Greenville opponent in the finals. Nate Sandberg dominated his Grove City opponent 10-0 in the finals. Senior Matt Sandberg won his fourth championship in as many years with a 10-4 win over Hickory in the Finals,

Top Dragon Shane Burns won his first two rounds convincingly. In the First Singles finals, Burns squared off with nemesis Chad Ferguson of Greenville. The two have played before, most recently in the District 10 finals last year in which Burns won.

“Today was a great match,” said Bartsch. “It was a back-and-forth affair in which both boys had momentary control of the match. In a Tie-Break at 9 games all, Ferguson prevailed 7-4 in the breaker to win the title,” said Bartsch. “Shane, now 15-1, will prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Singles Tournament, which will be held at the Pennbriar Club in Erie.

“This was a great outing for our boys,” said Bartsch. “This was a complete team effort, and all 32 boys who played had a hand in this victory.”

The Dragons are 12-0 on the season. They have captured the.Region 2 championship and will now venture into post-season play.