McDowell tennis players Eric Cui and Sahil Jain held together long enough to win a District 10 Class 3A boys doubles tournament final plagued by service breaks.
The juniors even profited from the last two during Wednesday’s championship match at Westwood Racquet Club.
Cui and Jain, who were seeded second, recorded mini-breaks late in their third-set tiebreaker vs. DuBois top seeds Cody Jaconski and Zach Johnson. They were the difference in their dramatic 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) victory.
“It’s always a great feeling when you win a highly-competitive match like that,” Cui said. “We actually went into the second set tentative, which was weird because we’d just won the first one. We were feeling down on ourselves going to the third (set), but somehow we loosened up and started making some good shots again. Then, we kept loose during the tiebreaker. ”
Cui and Jain walked off Westwood’s show court as victors shortly after the conclusion of the district’s Class 2A final. That all-Fairview match saw Nate Kisiel and Aravind Turaga beat fellow Tigers Jacob Mehler and Chris Spriegel 6-2, 6-2.
“It’s nice to win (a district) title as a senior,” Turaga said. “It’ll be nice to make the trip to Hershey again. We’re just grateful. “
The Hershey Racquet Club is where Wednesday’s winning duos will travel to when the PIAA doubles tournament takes place at Memorial Day weekend.
Kisiel and Turaga are scheduled to compete against District 5’s top tandem in the 2A first round. Cui and Jain will face District 1’s second seeds in their 3A opener.
From smooth start to frantic finish
The three-set victory vs. Jaconski and Johnson contrasted with the pro set results Cui and Jain recorded en route to the 3A final. The McDowell duo blanked Erie High II’s Evan Nadzam and Nate Devlin 8-0 in the quarterfinals and the Royals’ top tandem of Kyle Westfall and Joel Lee 10-0 in the semifinals.
Jain was extra elated with Wednesday’s district run because he didn’t learn until Tuesday who coach Richard Beck planned to pair up for the one-day tournament.
“I’m really proud of this because Eric and I didn’t practice (doubles) before then,” Jain said. “We had the pairings determined, but then they were switched through (Tuesday’s) challenge matches. It wasn’t until after 7 pm that I learned I was playing with Eric. “
Jain and Cui beat Jaconski and Johnson, who were the first of DuBois’ three doubles entries. The Beavers had to participate in Wednesday’s tournament as District 9’s only 3A boys tennis program.
Team meeting for Tigers
Coach Rick Sertz huddled Fairview’s four 2A finalists ahead of their title match.
He did so on an unused and darkened court that was well out of earshot for opposing players, coaches and fans.
Sertz’s main message to them? Have fun, according to Turaga.
“The coach said to enjoy the moment, because this was really a special one,” he said. “Just try to make it a good one and play some good tennis.”
Spriegel and Mehler, as No. 4 seeds, were listed in the bracket’s bottom half.
Kisiel said he not only knew he and Turaga could face them in Wednesday’s final, but very much wanted to.
“We knew we’d have to play our best tennis to beat them,” Kisiel said. “That’s exactly what happened.”
District 10 team tournament
District action will conclude with Friday’s boys team competition at Westwood. Fairview (2A) and McDowell (3A) are that tournament’s defending champs.
The 2A semifinals will start at 10:30 am Region 2 champion Fairview will face Region 1 second seed Greenville at the same time Region 1 winner Warren takes on Region 2 second seed Cathedral Prep.
The championship dual follows at 1:30 pm
The Tigers went 17-0 during their regular season. However, that perfect record doesn’t concern Kisiel.
Going 4-0 at Hershey does.
“Our job’s not done,” Kisiel said. “We want to win teams. That much I know. “
McDowell will face Erie High in a 3A final listed at 12:30 pm The victor returns at 2:30 for a PIAA subregion dual vs. DuBois.
Westwood is also expected to host duals during Tuesday’s first round of state play. All remaining rounds will take place next weekend at Hershey.
Contact Mike Copper at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter ETNcopper.
Results for the District 10 boys doubles tennis tournament at Westwood Racquet Club. The winners advanced to the May 27-28 PIAA tournament at Hershey Racquet Club:
Erie III (John Sinnott-Owen Sinnott) def. Meadville I (Luke Burgess-Kevin Elwell) 8-4; Meadville II (Kailani Kawatu-Megan Willis) def. DuBois III (John Miller-Aum Patel) 9-7; McDowell III (Jace McAdams-Christian Neubert) def. Meadville III (Ella Stewart-Wynn Hardwood) 8-3; Erie High II (Evan Nadzam-Nate Devlin) def. DuBois III (Houston Hemke-Brohm Hemke) 8-3
No. 1 DuBois I (Cody Jaconski-Zach Johnson) def. Erie High III 8-2; McDowell II def. Meadville II 8-2; Erie High I (Kyle Westfall-Joel Lee) def. McDowell III 8-2; No. 2 McDowell I (Eric Cui-Sahil Jain) def. Erie High II 8-0
No. 1 DuBois I def. McDowell II 10-4; No. 2 McDowell I def. Erie High I 8-2
No. 2 McDowell I (Eric Cui-Sahil Jain) def. No. 1 DuBois I (Cody Jaconski-Zach Johnson) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3)
Oil City I (Mason Stephens-Jackson Dilks) def. Grove City I (Ryan Waugaman-Shane Cavalo) 8-4; Mercyhurst Prep I (Jaxsen Rinke-Max Sedelmyer) def. Titusville II (Lance Enright-Colyn Donovan) 8-1; Sharon I (Andrew Joint-Shane Rowe) def. Harbor Creek II (Jake Ramalho-Colin Fabich) 8-5; Titusville I (Brian Rae-Zach Wooten) def. Hickory II (Paul Spielvogle-Remy Abalos) 8-3; Sharon II (Ben Pollock-Liam Klingensmith) def. Grove City II (Isaac Aldstadt-Landon Schofield) 8-2
No. 1 Fairview I (Nate Kisiel-Aravind Turaga) def. Oil City I 8-0; Warren II (Will Strassburg-Mark Lynds) def. Greenville II (Finn Butcher-Alex Harcourt) 8-4; No. 3 Cathedral Prep I (Hayden Hutchinson-James Casella) def. Mercyhurst Prep I 8-0; No. 6 Hickory I (Jackson Jarzab-Blake Herring) def. Sharon I 8-1; Cathedral Prep II (Austin Glance-Cameron Grieshaber) def. Oil City II (John Pardee-Eric Goughler) 8-0; No. 4 Fairview II (Jacob Mehler-Chris Spriegel) def. Titusville I 8-1; No. 5 Harbor Creek I (Jaden Rocco-Brennan Murphy) def. Greenville I (Anthony Gentile-Isaac Hightree) 8-2; No. 2 Warren I (Logan Fincher-Max Harrison) def. Sharon II 8-0
No. 1 Fairview I def. Warren II 8-3; No. 3 Cathedral Prep I def. Hickory I 8-2; No. 4 Fairview II def. Cathedral Prep II 8-4; No. 5 Harbor Creek I def. No. 2 Warren I 8-2
No. 1 Fairview I def. No. 3 Cathedral Prep I 10-2; No. 4 Fairview II def. No. 5 Harbor Creek I 10-4
No. 1 Fairview I (Nate Kisiel-Aravind Turaga) def. No. 4 Fairview II (Jacob Mehler-Chris Spriegel) 6-2, 6-2