A wonderful season ended for the Saint Ignatius tennis team on Friday. A great 4-year career also came to a close for a special member of the Tennis Cats.
The duo of Jack McNally and Kai Vesikallio, and Nate Day experience defeat in the first round of the 2019 State Tournament at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
The defeats certainly sting for the three talented and valued members of the Saint Ignatius tennis program. But the losses should not takeaway from what has been a special season, filled with joy and victories (amidst a few rainouts).
McNally's illustrious 4-year career wrapped up on Friday in Cincinnati. Making his second appearance at the State Tourney, McNally paired with a young gun, Kai Vesikallio. Paired together just before the Sectional Tournament, the duo quickly formed a wonderful working relationship. The two have known each other for quite some time, dating back to grade school days at the same tennis club.
McNally and Vesikallio overcame some tough foes en route to Cincinnati, but faced one of the most talented duos in the state in Charles Temming and Preston Stearns of St. Xavier.
Without a doubt, McNally and Vesikallio posed a challenge for the Bomber duo and posed a fierce fight. But in the end, this day belonged to the Bombers. Temming and Stearns achieved a 6-2 win in the first set and a 6-2 victory in the second set, moving onto the next round.
The loss marked the end of McNally's career, but it does also signal the beginning of a bright future for Vesikallio. It's not easy for a freshman to start right away and make it to States, but that's exactly what Vesikallio.
McNally will head to The Ohio State University, likely continuing his tennis career at the club level. He's also got a very bright future ahead in the classroom and in the "real world."
Nate Day also made his second appearance at States in as many seasons. This time, the sophomore made it as an individual. Talk about someone with a bright future. With a strong build and a rocket serve, Day has the potential to do damage at the highest level next year.
This time around, it wasn't meant to be. Day faced a fearsome foe in Niraj Komatineni of Mason. Playing in his hometown, Komatineni, the Southwest District champ, showed off his talents in a 6-0, 6-0 win over Day.
Even so, Day's potential and ceiling are limitless. He and the Wildcats enjoyed a great season.
"We drew some of the toughest teams in the state today," said Head Coach Bobbe Bennett. "We worked hard and fought til the end. That's all I can ask for as a coach. I am so proud of the year we have had and the progress we have made. We are just going to keep getting better!"