TROY — Lehman Catholic boys tennis coach Tim Ungericht said it best after a two-hour plus go to district match between the fourth seed from Milton-Union Titus Copp and Tyler Combs outlasted Lehman Catholic’s Joe Pannaparra and Javier Salvador Tuesday at the D-II sectional tennis tournament 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3 at Troy High School.
“We didn’t lose the match,” Ungericht said. “Milton-Union won the match. I am so proud of my guys and the way they never stopped battling.”
Copp and Combs joined Milton-Union’s second seeded doubles team of Ben Iddings and Tyler Kress in advancing to Saturday’s semifinals and earning a spot in the district tournament.
“That Lehman doubles team is a really well-coached team,” Milton-Union coach Kevin Brackman said. “Doubles is Lehman coach Tim Ungericht’s specialty and he had them well prepared. We knew it was going to be a tough match.”
The first set was an even battle all the way, with Lehman winning the tiebreaker 7-4.
“Then the second set, we were up 1-0 and we won another game at 5-1,” Ungericht said. “They had all the momentum.”
That continued early in the third set, with Milton-Union leading 3-0.
“After the first set, I told they guys just to continue to play with the courage and chemistry they have had all season,” Brackman said. “And they did that. They did a good job of keeping each other up.”
Lehman rallied back to tie it 3-3 and was up 30-lover on serve and two points from going up 4-3.
But, Milton-Union broke the Cavaliers and won the next two games to finish off the match.
“That was a big moment swing,” Ungericht said about Lehman going down 4-3.
“I told them, they were on top of the wave and to just ride it,” he said.
Earlier, Combs and Copp had defeated Jude Minton and Charles Kochensparger of Eaton 6-3, 6-2 to get to the go-to district match.
Meanwhile, Iddings and Kress — who played first and second singles during the season — had it in cruise control most of the day.
They opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over San Augustus and Luke James of Northeastern and defeated Tallis Onfroy-Curleys and Lukas Sage-Frabotta of Yellow Springs 6-0, 6-3.
“They are happy to be the second seed again this year,” Brackman said. “I think it took them a little while to gel and get used to playing doubles again. We were down 3-1 in the second set. Tyler (Kress) popped a string and it took a little while to get going.”
Iddings and Kress will play third seeded Drew Phillips and Trey Taylor from Bellefontaine in the semifinal Saturday, while Copp and Combs will play top seeded Ethan and Jason Knemeyer of Yellow Springs.
“Ben (Iddings) and Tyler (Kress) are looking to have a big day Saturday,” Brackman said. “We are excited.”
Milton-Union’s singles all reached the go-to district match before losing.
Braden Schaurer defeated Ben Gilbreth of Greenon 6-1, 6-1 and Cameron Kusmierczyk of Springfield Shawnee 6-2, 6-1 before losing to Xavier Sims of Bellefontaine 6-0, 6-0.
Mason Grudich defeated Thomas White of Lehman Catholic 6-0, 6-0 and Caden Rudy of Greenon 7-5, 6-2 before losing to Truman Howell of Bellefontaine 6-0, 6-0 and Tommy Ryerson defeated Logan Linson of Lehman Catholic 6-0, 6-0 and Brayden Spriggs of Urbana 6-2, 6-3 before losing to Henry Smith-Heston of Yellow Springs 6-0, 6-3.
“When Ben Iddings and Tyler Kress elected to play doubles, Mason Grudich and Braden Schaurer ( the second doubles team) were the odds one out and handled it well without complaining. I would say we exceeded expectations in singles.”
Pannaparra and Salvador had defeated Avery Yount and Drew Beisner of Greenville 6-0, 6-0 and Michael Holland and Sam Wilhelm of Urbana 6-3, 6-2 to go to the go-to district match.
Adam Flood and Tommy Lins had lost to Phillips and Taylor of Bellefontaine 6-0, 6-1 and in another singles match, Alvarro Bullon lost to Glen Horton of Northeastern 6-2, 6-4.
“We had a really young team this year,” Ungericht said. “It was a learning year. We had six freshman playing this year. We had a number of things work against us, but we also had a lost of positives and gained a lot of valuable experience. Adam Flood stepped up today to play for Luke Courtad who was injured. Adam and Tommy Lins played really well.”
The semifinals will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday, with D-II playing in Troy City Park.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]