Entering the home stretch of the season, the Saint Ignatius varsity team is fully healthy.
Watch out, Northeast Ohio.
The Wildcats flexed their muscles on Monday, upending Walsh Jesuit on the Warriors' home court in an impressive 5-0 win.
The contest, the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association (OTCA) Northeast Regional Quarterfinal, marks a significant victory for the Wildcats. With the win, Saint Ignatius advances to the Regional Semifinal for a matchup with juggernaut University School.
Arjun Brahmbhatt provided a large boost for the Wildcats. Back in the saddle at the No. 1 singles spot, Brahmbhatt earned an important win for the Wildcats. The junior's effort set the tone for the day, as Brahmbhatt tallied a 6-3 win in the first set. His second set, against Walsh Jesuit's Caleb Miller, proved to be more difficult. But in the end, Brahmbhatt earned a 7-5 triumph to take the win.
Nate Day faced off against fellow sophomore Ben Cors. Day battled to a 6-3 triumph in the first set. Day started to wear down his foe in the second stanza, carding a 6-1 victory at No. 2 singles.
Drew Barclay continued his strong senior season for the Tennis Cats. The savvy vet battled another senior in the contest – Patrick Delaney. The Warriors' senior certainly challenged Barclay, but the Wildcat showed off his smarts and skill in a two-set win. Barclay notched a 6-4, 6-4 conquest in the win, wrapping up the No. 3 singles victory for the blue and gold.
Jack McNally and Kai Vesikallio paired up in the No. 1 doubles spot. The senior-freshman duo rocked the match, nearly earning a double bagel. McNally and Vesikallio galloped to a 6-0 win in the first set, and didn't slow down in the second set. The dynamic duo rolled to a 6-1 win in the second stanza.
Kenny Li and Thomas Deucher teamed up in the No. 2 doubles slot. The sophomore-junior combo performed quite well. Li and Deucher catapulted to a 6-0 win in the first set and then captured a 6-1 victory in the second set, leaving no doubt in a convincing win.
All in all, it was a good day for the Tennis Cats.
"The boys played great," said Head Coach Bobbe Bennett. "It was nice having Arjun back in the lineup. We're looking forward to a competitive week of Sectionals and matching up with US for the next round of the OTCA Tournament."
The Wildcats will face the Preppers on a date to be determined. The Tennis Cats will be on the court next on Wednesday, taking part in the opening day of the Sectional Tournament at Oberlin College. Many of the Wildcats earned first-round byes, so their tournament journeys will likely start in the afternoon.
JV Cats narrowly defeated
The JV Cats suffered their first loss of the season on Friday, narrowly falling to University School, 3-2.
The Wildcats will conclude the regular season on Friday, heading to Copley for an afternoon matchup.