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Five Wildcats Advance to Quarter-Finals of Sectionals

By Joe Mertens '15, 05/12/21, 1:30PM EDT


The Tennis Cats are seeking to qualify five players for Districts as day two of Sectional play begins on Thursday.

Sectional play has begun for the Tennis Cats as they compete in the Northeast Ohio Sectional Tournament at Elyria High School. The Wildcats had a successful opening day of sectional play on Tuesday as five players have advanced to the quarter-final round. Nate Day, Kai Vesikallio, Kenny Li, Michael Nock and Maksim Andrich have all advanced to the second day of Sectionals.

Day one consisted of three rounds that started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. IUPUI commit Nate Day is ranked two in the Elyria Singles Tournament and enjoyed a first-round bye. Day nearly had nearly a perfect day as he only dropped one set on the day. In round two, Day matched up against Normandy’s Ben Pollock. Day would win both sets 6-0 to advance to the third round of day one. Day then took on the fourth seed from Olmsted Falls Drew Campbell. Day would win the first set 6-0 and take the match with a 6-1 victory in set two to advance to the quarter-finals. Day will take on St. Edward’s Eric Vaziri in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

In the Elyria Doubles Tournament, Nock and Andrich are ranked number three. In the second round, Nock and Andrich took down Alec Micovic and Dominic Gallo of Parma in two sets, winning both 6-0. In the third round, Nock and Andrich matched up against Jon Hubeny and Nick Thompson of Olmsted Falls, where they came away with a match win, taking both sets 6-1. Nock and Andrich will take on Westlake’s Yikum Zhou and Julian Coleman in the quarter-finals of the doubles tournament on Thursday.

Li and Vesikallio are the first seed of the Elyria Doubles Tournament and opened up round two against Strongsville’s Vardaan Shah and Aryan Parikh. Li and Vesikallio took both sets 6-0 and 6-2 to advance to round three to take on Vinny Filippelli and Patrick Gale of Normandy. Li and Vesikallio advanced to the quarter-finals taking both sets 6-0. They will take on Olmsted Falls’ Evan Toth and Adam Kwan at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“We had a great first day,” Head Tennis Coach Bobbe Bennett says. “Arul (Mehta) played a great first match to upset the four seed, Nate was solid all around and our doubles played very sharp and together, which we worked on all year.”

Sectional play will continue at Elyria High School on Thursday as the Wildcats seek to qualify for districts with wins. Day three of Sectionals will be the semi-finals and finals that will determine seeding for the 2021 OHSAA District Tournament. “We are looking forward to competing on Thursday and Saturday with some high level,” explains Bennett.