Potters enjoyed their state experience
MASON — East Liverpool doubles team Chris Montgomery and Alex Tambellini had a beneficial trip to the Div. II state tennis tournament on Friday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
Playing for the first time at the professional tennis facility, Montgomery and Tambellini scored a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Bryan’s Isaac Bowers and Logan Ling in the first round.
“They didn’t play well at first, in fact, both teams didn’t play well because of nerves, but once it got going they were OK,” East Liverpool coach George Whittaker said. “It was a favorable draw for us.”
Whittaker said he doesn’t remember many doubles teams coming from the East District having any success at all at state.
“It was a good accomplishment to win a match at state,” Whittaker said. “They finished in the top eight of all doubles teams in the state. That’s something to be proud of.”
In the second round, the Potters fought hard and ended up on the losing end of a 6-4, 7-5 score to Dayton Miami Valley’s Makul Sharma and Reece Quigley.
Whittaker said the Potters led 5-3 in the second set and were serving, but the Miami Valley team broke serve and held on to get the win.
“The fire went out a bit after that,” Whittaker said.
That winning team had just come off a three-set win over Geneva’s Isaac Palinkas and Nathan Palinkas in the first round. The Potters got to watch the end of that match while sitting in the shade.
“Those were both really good teams,” Whittaker said.
The Miami Valley team will meet Columbus Wellington’s Connor Biernat and Grig Biernat in the semifinal today.
The other semifinal will see Gates Mills Hawken’s Stephanie Shulman and Sauren Khosla take on Cincinnati Indian Hill’s Maanas Pisati and Mack Ellis.
Montgomery and Tambellini were the first Columbiana County doubles team to make the state tournament.
¯ The biggest and second biggest courts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center were closed for renovations, but the Potters did get a chance to practice on the third largest court on Thursday.
“It was neat being in a stadium setting and they took some pictures on the court,” Whittaker said.
¯ The temperature hit 90 degrees on Friday.
“It was smoking,” Whittaker said. “I didn’t think it affected the doubles teams as much as the singles players though.”