LIMA — Thursday’s persistent wet weather forced the Western Buckeye League to move its boys tennis tournament indoors to the Westwood Tennis and Fitness Center.
The meet was originally scheduled for the University of Northwestern Ohio.
For Ottawa-Glandorf, that didn’t matter.
With all five entries advancing to Saturday’s semifinals, the Titans are well-primed to do very well.
Moving on to the semifinals starting at 9 a.m. Saturday were first singles and fifth seed Carter Welch, beating Kannan Wannemacher of Van Wert 6-1, 6-4; first-seeded second singles Parker Schomaeker, who downed Chris Paysen of Shawnee 6-1, 6-0; third singles and third-seeded Colin Welch, who bested Luciana Garcia of Defiance 6-3, 6-2; top-seeded first doubles Drew Kuhlman and Kamron Maag, who knocked off Ian Lyons and Rocco Longbraker of Kenton 6-2, 6-2; and top-seeded second doubles Nolan Unterbrink and Sam Schmenk, who defeated Rylee Messenger and Cameron Zickafoose of Kenton 6-0, 6-0.
“It took us a while to get on the court today. The first day of the WBL tournament, you want to take care of business; all our guys won their matches and that’s what you want to see,” Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Jay Laubenthal said. “We are unbeaten in the WBL regular-season race at 8-0 and we have one more match to play (against Kenton).
“The biggest difference between playing outdoors and indoors is the lighting. That takes an adjustment that you have to make quickly. You don’t want to change your game when you go indoors. We have a lot of good athletes, and you just want to play the game that has gotten you this far. Our guys continue to get better, so obviously, the transition to the game of tennis has gone well for us this spring. We are getting more comfortable on the court. We know the expectations we are facing Saturday; we are leading the league. There are some things yet to be decided in the league race but we know we have to play well Saturday.”
Elida’s Tyler Christoff, as the second seed at first singles, advanced to Saturday’s semifinals with a 6-1, 7-5 defeat of Bath’s Jacob Garver.
Fourth-seeded Riley Fricke downed Michael Hellman of Van Wert 7-6 (5), 7-5 in third singles; at first doubles, second-seeded Jacob Ramirez and Riley Creps defeated Hannes Scutt and Tate Stewart of Shawnee 6-1, 6-0; and at second doubles, fifth-seeded Wyatt Wuest and Eric Butler knocked off the fourth-seeded Shawnee duo of Garrett DeMoss and Brayden Ward 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“Our day went well. We won a couple of tight matches; our day went about what I expected,” Elida head coach Michael Sarno said. “We have some guys that love to play indoors, and we have some that prefer to play outdoors. We’ve had a good season, and we have steadily improved our games. As far as the semifinals and finals, we know how well we have to play to catch O-G. They are playing very well, and we know we have to bring our ‘A’ games to have a chance. We are not going to back away from the expectations. We’re going to go for it and see how we do.
“I’m just glad to see all our hard work coming to fruition now.”
Wapakoneta moved a pair on: top-seeded Jeffrey Adkins bashed Jamal Caesar of Defiance 6-0, 6-1 at first singles; and top-seeded John Doll downed Gabe Rutter of Shawnee 6-3, 6-1 at third singles.
“We lost a couple of doubles matches today that we won in the regular season. That was disappointing,” Wapakoneta head coach Elise Minnick said. “Our first and third singles are moving on, so that is a positive. We had a long day today. The intensity increases. There is more pressure and you have to be able to respond.
“There are pros and cons to playing indoors. You don’t have to worry about the wind but I felt it was quite humid inside today and that is something you’re not used to. We played a lot of indoor matches this winter in preparing for the season, so we were used to it from that. The balls travel faster indoors than out, so you have to make that adjustment quickly. We’ll regroup Friday and then get ready for Saturday.”
Weather permitting, UNOH will play host to Saturday’s matches.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.