By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
CENTERVILLE — A sudden rain in the middle of the second round halted action, but only briefly. The roar of thunder an hour later, though, had a more lasting effect.
The Greater Western Ohio Conference gold flight tennis tournament began Thursday morning at Centerville High School, and everyone was able to get at least one full match in. Once the second round began, though, it wasn’t long before the weather intervened, suspending the action. The tournament will resume at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
It’s something that, over the years, the area’s tennis players have grown used to come time for the conference tournament.
“Last year, we had to come back on Friday, too,” Troy coach Mark Goldner said. “And then two years ago, we didn’t even have it.”
“The first part of today, it’s just great tennis out here,” Tippecanoe coach Kaci Matthews said. “These eight teams are at the top of the GWOC, and they’re all representing themselves well today. The weather has obviously been annoying, but it hasn’t necessarily been a factor.
“It is unfortunate that we did get to finish today, but these guys are all competitors. That’s why they’re here. To be honest, coming back tomorrow, how much will it phase anybody? I’m not sure. The tough players, they do well under any circumstances.”
Troy’s Nathan Kleptz was able to get through two full matches at first singles. First up, he took on Butler’s Brandon Kreger in a rematch of last week’s three-setter — and it was another close match, with Kleptz pulling out a 9-7 victory. To speed up the tournament, deuces were eliminated, with the next point after 40-40 deciding games — and it was in one of those do-or-die situations that Kleptz closed out the match.
In his second match, Kleptz faced Springboro’s Sainadan Dore, the top-ranked player in the bracket, falling 8-0. He will face Centerville’s Will Owen in the consolation final for third or fourth place Friday.
At second singles, Jackson Goodall defeated Tippecanoe’s Christopher Nichols in another lengthy 9-7 match in the opening round. He was facing Beavercreek’s Heidi Orloff in the second round when play was suspended.
At third singles, Genki Masunaga upset Springboro’s Temur Nazarov, winning 8-5 in the first round. He was facing Sidney’s Akansh Mani when play was suspended.
And at first doubles, Sean Dippold and Noah George held off Tippecanoe’s David Shininger and Levi Berning 8-6 in the first round, giving the Trojans four first-round victories and ensuring Troy would get fourth place or better at four of the five courts. They were facing Centerville’s Dhruv Golamundi and Ryan Peters in the second round when play was suspended.
At second doubles, Henry Johnston and Spencer Short lost to Tippecanoe’s Luke Blake and Jack Thompson 8-2 in the first round but bounced back with an 8-0 win over Sidney’s T.J. Leonard and Broc Bey. They will face the winner between Butler’s Trent Luken and Kristof Manni and Miamisburg’s Vance Willis and Matthew Wells in the fifth-sixth place match Friday.
“That’s good. That’s a real positive,” Goldner said. “And it looks like Genki and Jackson and first doubles are all playing pretty well (in the second round), too. I’m pretty happy with our situation here.”
For Tippecanoe, Blake Moran scored a first-round victory at third singles, defeating Beavercreek’s Kyle Eskew in a hard-fought 9-7 match. He then lost to Centerville’s Rishi Appalaneni 8-2 in the second round and will face the loser between Troy’s Masunaga and Sidney’s Mani in the third-fourth place match Friday.
After defeating Troy’s Johnston and Short, the second doubles team of Blake and Thompson was facing Centerville’s Brandon Rowland and Tairan Zhang in the second round.
Colin Achterberg lost 8-1 to Centerville’s Owen and lost 8-2 to Sidney’s Prem Dev. He will face the loser between Miamisburg’s Sekar Dhanasekar and Butler’s Kreger for seventh or eighth place Friday.
At second singles, Nichols dropped his first-round match to Troy’s Goodall and was taking on Miamisburg’s Michael Raj when play was suspended.
And at first doubles, after falling to Troy’s Dippold and George, Shininger and Berning fell to Sidney’s Jersain Brux and Kazuma Okada 8-2 in the second round. They will face the loser between Butler’s Michael Kreill and Mikael Waale and Miamisburg’s Darshan Premkumar and Jacob Brooks in the seventh-eighth place match.
“To say the weather is going to affect the tournament too much … really, it’s just more of an inconvenience,” Matthews said.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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