FAIRLAWN — The Wadsworth boys tennis team had its opponents seeing red by the end of the first day of the Medina Division I Sectional at Springside Racquet & Fitness Club.
Singles competitors Carter Moore, Demetri Laikos and Sam Hanna, along with both doubles teams of Beau Casey and William Virgin, and T.J. Lockwood and Noah Porter reached the third round Tuesday.
Moore, Hanna and both doubles teams advanced to the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.
“I think we all played up to our potential,” Lockwood said. “We’re a pretty close team. We’re all seniors, so it’s a lot of fun seeing this.”
The cherry on top of the sundae came late in the day when Moore, Wadsworth’s first singles player during the regular season, defeated Medina top singles player Maxim Smith in one of the most competitive matches of the tournament.
After Moore beat Smith 6-4 in the first set, the Bees senior pushed the third-seeded Moore to the brink of a final set when he went up 5-3 in the second set. Moore rebounded to win the final four games to take the set 7-5.
“Max is a really good player,” Moore said. “I played him this season and it was close, too. I knew I was going to have my hands full.”
Hanna, a doubles player for most of the regular season, was the first Grizzly to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals when he topped Firestone’s Jacob Cribbet 6-1, 6-2, marking the first time the three-year varsity starter has made it to the round of eight. He will meet top-seeded Marco Nessic of Twinsburg on Thursday.
“My first two years I was knocked out in the first and second round, so this year to make it to the quarterfinals and the second day feels amazing,” Hanna said.
Casey and Virgin followed with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Suburban League rival North Royalton’s team of Adhav Parameswaran and Sundarram Singaram. The Wadsworth duo also swept Brunswick’s Brayden Wessner and Connor Garity.
“It definitely feels good to go 6-0 and 6-0,” Casey said. “I think it gives us some good confidence going into Thursday, because we know we have a tough opponent then.”
Casey and Virgin will take on the top team in the sectional when they meet Walsh Jesuit’s Ben Cors and Caleb Miller.
“Honestly, at this point we have nothing to lose and that’s how we’re feeling going into it,” Virgin said. “We’re just going to play our best tennis, takes risks, play loose and just go for it.”
Lockwood and Porter defeated the Warriors’ Nathan Lahovich and Ethan Shah in the third round. They will face Hudson’s third-seeded team of Rob Tobin and Spencer Rodgers on Thursday.
“This is what we’ve been looking forward to the entire season,” Porter said. “We’ve played this Hudson team a ton and I’m looking forward to getting another crack at them.”
The only other Medina County player to reach the quarterfinals was Medina’s Jacob Schwarnweber, a junior exchange student from Germany. Schwarnweber bested Zach McIlroy of Twinsburg in the third round and will face second-seeded Grant Jones of Kent Roosevelt on Thursday.
“It’s awesome,” said Schwarnweber, who played third singles during the regular season. “It’s my first time playing sectionals and it’s been such a great day for me. I was fortunate to play my first two matches outside and I was kind of scared to go inside and switch everything, but I seemed to work well against my opponent and hit my shots.”
Laikos was one of six countians to lose his third-round match when he fell in straight sets to Copley’s Holden Schmidt, 6-4, 6-2. Medina’s Carlos Levine lost 6-3, 6-0 to fourth-seeded Harrsha Congivaram of Hudson.
Both Medina doubles teams of Brad Ott and Jonathan Dexheimer, and Shane Cook and Hayden Bunn made it to the third round before bowing out, as did the Highland doubles team of Tyler Erba and Nate Gillin.