TROY — Lehman Catholic boys tennis coach Tim Ungericht knew it was going to be a close call.
And that proved to be prophetic.
The unseeded Cavaliers doubles team of junior Danny Lins and sophomore Sam Gilardi were meeting the fourth seed from Milton-Union of Peyton Brown and Jake Swafford in a go-to district match.
“I felt like whoever won that first set was going to have the advantage,” Ungericht said. “That we needed to win that first set.”
And while Lehman was up much of the first set and had a set point in the tiebreaker, Milton-Union would finish off the tiebreaker and go on to a 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 victory.
After three breaks to start the first set, Lins held serve to put Lehman up a break at 3-1.
They were still up a break at 5-3, before Milton-Union took three straight games before Lins held at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker.
“I knew it was going to be really close between these two teams,” Ungericht said.
Lehman took a 7-6 lead in the tiebreaker with Lins serving for the set, but Milton-Union scored the next three points to take the set.
“That was tough, losing that set,” Ungericht said. “That is (tough to come back from).”
Lehman never really recovered in the second set.
The Cavaliers got down 4-0, before showing some heart.
At 5-2, they fended off a match point to break and get within 5-3, but Milton-Union answered with a break at love to win the match.
“Really, I think the difference was the Milton-Union guys at the net,” Ungericht said. “They were doing a great job of poaching to the center and they were finishing their volleys. They had a senior and a junior, so they had a little more experience than we did.”
Lins and Gilardi had advanced to the go-to district match with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Northeastern’s Katie Thompson and Spencer Montgomery and a 6-3, 6-3 win over Greenon’s David Klump and Taggart Fox.
“This is good experinece for them and they will be back next year,” Ungericht said.
The Lehman doubles team of Cole Kramer and Sean Toner lost 6-0, 6-1 to third seed Colin Achterberg and Christopher Nichols of Tippecanoe.
In singles, Elijah Jock defeated Luke Barnes of Milton-Union 6-2, 6-1 before losing to Blake Moran of Tippecanoe 6-1, 6-1.
Elias Bezy lost to Jack Thompson of Tippecanoe 6-2, 6-4; and Max Schmiesing lost to Jack Marchal of Greenville 6-0, 6-1.
“That was a good win for Elijah (Jock),” Ungericht said. “This is the first year we had have him for a full season and he really matured and came on. The Tippecanoe team is ranked first in the area for a reason. Those guys are good. Those were some tough matches.”
And Ungericht is excited about next season.
“We lose a doubles team and half of another one,” he said. “But, it is not a total rebuild like last year, when we lost all three singles players and part of our doubles team. We have an eighth grader coming in who will be pretty high in the lineup. James Holthaus and Josh George have a chance to break in the lineup next year. We made a lot of progress this year.”
And were that “close” to having a district qualifier.
Rob Kiser is the sports editor of the Piqua Daily Call. Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.