Lakeview’s McDivitt earns top seed for district
By BOB ETTINGER
Jake McDivitt made the most of his opportunity at Saturday’s Division II sectional tennis tournament at Boardman High School.
“I like the analogy of a sniper,” McDivitt said after winning the sectional title. “I just had to work and be mentally and physically tough until the time came.
“Then, I had to execute. Just like a sniper. I was trying to keep the ball in as long as I could and wait for the other guys to make a mistake.”
In the championship match, McDivitt defeated Austin Arfaras of Ursuline, 6-4, 6-2.
“I feel good,” McDivitt said. “I know I’ll practice through the week to keep my rhythm. I’m happy with the one seed.
Arfaras wasn’t satisfied with his finish.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “I hate losing more than I like winning.
“It’s a clean slate [next week]. I’ll clear my mind and come back with a new game plan.
“It’s a chess game. I tried to put it in the corner and capitalize when I could.”
McDivitt was the fourth seed for the sectional.
“When there was a shot, I had to take it,” McDivitt said. “I think I hit it pretty hard when it’s in the right strike zone.
McDivitt and Arfaras, as well as third-place finisher Armand Nannicola of Warren JFK and Greg Morgione of Ursuline, who was fourth, will play at the Division II district tournament at Springside Racquet & Fitness Club in Akron on Friday morning.
“I practiced hard and hit a lot during the week beforehand,” McDivitt said. “I knew what I had to do against each person. I’m just happy about it.”
The Ursuline doubles team of Sean O’Connor and Luke Tsudis teamed up for the first time this season to claim the sectional title.
“We’ve never played together before,” Tsudis said. “We’ve been best friends since elementary school and have played tennis together for years. We give each other confidence.”
O’Connor and Tsudis toppled Ursuline teammates Gavin Blacksher and Josh Khavari, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the final.
“It makes me feel more confident playing with someone who knows what he’s doing,” O’Connor said. “We pick up ourselves up when we get down a set. We know who is good at what and we play to our advantages.”
Tsudis will be making a third consecutive trip to the district tournament after reaching state as a freshman and playing at the district a year ago.
“I’ve seen it before,” he said. “I know what the next level after district is like. It gives me confidence knowing that.”
Lakeview’s John Silbaugh and Ryan Carnahan defeated teammates Steven Pavlik and Blake Gould, 6-0, 6-4, to take third.