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Winning nine total matches in sectional tennis tournament play could be a school record for the Twinsburg boys program as Marco Nesic led the charge.
Nesic became possibly the Tigers' first district qualifier by securing a seed to districts out of the Akron/Medina Division I sectional at Springside Racquet and Fitness Club May 11.
The sophomore standout finished fourth and grabbed the final singles berth in the rugged tournament at Springside.
"Marco qualified for districts and is the first player that I know of from Twinsburg to ever qualify for districts," commented Twinsburg head coach Michael Porinchak, who has been at the helm for over 10 years.
"I am very proud of Marco," said the mentor. The district tournament will be May 18 at the same site. The top six individuals will advance to the state tournament.
In the first round, Nesic won 6-0, 6-0 and then defeated Zach Kline (Stow-Munroe Falls) 6-1, 6-0, and Copley's William Yang 6-0, 6-2.
The gifted Nesic won 6-0, 6-1 over Ryan Cvammen of Cuyahoga Falls in the quarterfinals before losing in a tough three-set semifinal war against No. 2 seed Isaac Hadler of Medina Highland. It was 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Nesic then lost another heartbreaking three-set battle against Copley's Kevin Du by the score of 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in the third-place match.
"Marco won four matches to qualify and then lost two really great 3-set matches in the seeding stage of the tournament," said Porinchak. "He ended up as the fourth seed."
"He [Nesic] lost a tough three-set match to Hadler, who was the second seed, and then lost to Du in another three-set match," the coach added. "I couldn't be more proud of Marco."
Nesic could become the school's finest singles player ever. He plays at 9 a.m. on May 18 at Springside vs. University School's Paul Gota in the first round.
"As a sophomore, Marco has all of the physical tools to play great tennis, but he also has the intelligence to make good judgements and quick decisions in a match," noted Porinchak.
"It is really fun to watch Marco play," he added. "I have been enjoying this ride as much as he has."
Senior Preston Bell capped an impressive career at Twinsburg with two impressive wins in sectional action.
However, Bell injured his ankle in his third match against North Royalton's Andrew Biegacki.
"As an overall team, sectionals were great," said Porinchak. "We won nine total matches. Preston Bell won his first and second round matches before injuring his ankle in his third match and had to withdraw."
Porinchak would have loved to see Bell play on, but was very positive.
"Preston had a great career at Twinsburg," said the mentor.
Bell posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over Brunswick's Seth Tofil and then registered a6-2, 6-3 victory over Beau Casey of Wadsworth.
Zach McIlroy, a sophomore, won his first-round match before losing to Hadler in the second round.
McIlroy had a big 6-0, 6-0 victory in the first round over Tallmadge' Joe Palmer. In the next round, McIlroy fell 6-1, 6-0 to Hadler, who ended up being the sectional runner up to Brunswick's Aaron Yeh. Du placed third.
"Zach won and the doubles teams also won a match in the first round before losing," said Porinchak.
Twinsburg's strong doubles team of senior Nick Carcione and junior Daryl Nana was a tandem that Porinchak thought may have a shot a district berth, but the field was too strong this spring.
Carcione and Nana, third overall in the Suburban League this year, posted a win over the Tallmadge duo in the sectionals. It was a 6-0, 6-1 win over Carmelo LaMancusa and Dimitri Fortseras.
Then the Tiger pair fell 6-2, 6-3 to the North Royalton team of Zade Shelawi and Jeff Kozik.
The Tigers' other doubles team -- junior Ryan Lecaros and sophomore Michael Sterling went 1-1 at Springside.
Lecaros and Sterling won 6-0, 6-3 over Akron North and then lost 6-1, 7-5 in a solid outing against Hudson second seed and sectional champion team of Nicci Polifrone and Sam Yurak.