Your neighborhood high school sports source! - News: River tennis program claims another WSC crown
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River tennis program claims another WSC crown
River tennis program claims another WSC crownStory by Jim Horvath
Photos by Larry Bennet



In the seven years the West Shore Conference has existed, Rocky River has been top dog in boys tennis.

Nothing changed this spring. The Pirates won their sixth championship by going undefeated in the regular season matches and winning the WSC Tournament championship. In the tournament, River won two championships and reached the finals in all five events to score 32 team points to get past Vermilionís 26.

Bay, which won the first doubles title, finished third with 25 points to edge out Avonís 24. The Eagles reached two finals and had one championship, that coming at second singles.

Overall, it was the 12th conference championship during the long tenure of River head coach Jeff Sinnema. The Pirate program, which this year carried 27 players, won six Southwestern Conference titles prior to joining the WSC.

And during the regular season, Sinnema reached a coaching milestone as he won his 800th career team match with a win at Vermilion.

Sophomore Garrett Stefani won the third singles title for River, topping junior Tyler Enders of Bay 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals and Avon freshman Chance Nicklaus 7-5, 6-1 in the title match. Nicklaus advanced to the finals with his 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Kevin Cole of Vermilion.

River also won the second doubles championship behind the duo of senior Damian OíMalley and junior Nathan VanRooy. They defeated the Bay team of juniors Dan Huntley and Elliot Snyder 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals and Vermilionís Eddie Adkins and Tim Niehart 7-5, 6-2 in the title match.

Bay won the first doubles championship behind senior Scott Geuther and junior Zach Messina. The Rocket duo started off with a 6-2, 6-1 win over junior Tyler Badt and senior Zack Wetzig of Avon in the quarterfinals. In the semis, they fought off a challenge from Vermilionís Shane Spencer and Adam white 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Geuther and Messina finished off their tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Rocky Riverís senior duo of Jon Lihani and Tim Smith.

Avonís championship came at second singles as junior Macklin Robbins won by default (walk off) over River senior Matt Siwkiewicz (illness). Robbins was solid in his first two matches, starting with a 6-0, 6-1 decision over North Ridgeville freshman Stephen Bickford in the quarterfinals.

Robbins reached the finals with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Bay sophomore Jack Reiss.

At first singles, it came down to the anticipated battle between Rocky River junior Henry Grierson and Vermilion junior Chaz Hansen.

Hansen reached the finals with a 6-1, 6-1 semifinal win over Elyria Catholicís Clay Jerge. Grierson topped Jason Grau of Midview 6-0, 6-0 and Avon senior Ben Schmitz 6-3, 7-6 (4) to advance. In the finals, Hansen prevailed with a tough 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 decision for the Sailorsí lone championship of the tournament.

In the Division II sectionals, however, Grierson got his revenge. He met Hanson in the singles championship and came away with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win. Both players advanced to the district tournament in Canton, as did the doubles team of Lihani and Smith, who finished fourth.

   

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