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Truckers dominate final NOL tennis tourney

By JAKE FURR Reflector Sports Editor jakefurr@norwalkreflector.com • Updated May 8, 2017 at 9:30 PM

SHELBY — The Norwalk Truckers already made Northern Ohio League history this season.

After capturing their 27th NOL boys’ tennis title in program history, they set their sights on the NOL tournament held at Shelby High School on Monday. The Truckers walked out of there with four NOL championships and a runner-up finish completing one of the most historic NOL season in league history and bringing it all to an end.

With five seniors and two sophomores, the Truckers walked away with second singles, third singles, first doubles and second doubles championship finishes and a runner-up finish in first doubles.

Senior Damon Mohan and sophomore Austin Brown cruised to the first doubles title after earning the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. They took down Nick Zara and Austin Armstead of Ontario quickly with a 6-0 and 6-3 win to cement themselves in the finals. There, they beat Columbian’s Eli Theis and Daniel Bupp in domination fashion 6-3 and 6-1 to claim the NOL title.

“We stayed so consistent though out the tournament,” Mohan said. “Our consistency always wins games for us and we were able to get nice leads and take some aggressive shots. We came into this tournament with a winning mindset and we had confidence in all of our shots all day. We came ready today.”

For Brown, he was more concentrated on sending his senior teammate off with a championship.

“We wanted this year to be special and I wanted to do my part to make my partner’s final season something to remember,” Brown said. “I pushed myself to really help him go out on top.”

Senior Jacob Coe took home the second singles title even after passing on the first-round bye opportunity. He started his day off beating Bricen Haar of Sandusky in straight sets 6-0 and 6-0. The cruised again in the semifinals beating Rohan Joshi of Ontario 6-0 and 6-0 taking momentum into his finals match against Hayden Stone of Columbian. He took the hard-fought match 7-5, 7-5 to end his senior season with an NOL title.

“I had confidence going into the match because I had beaten him before,” Coe said. “I just wanted to make sure I hit my favorite shots and stay consistent. It feels great to end my career with that NOL title.”

Senior Evan Hohman picked up the NOL title in third singles with three wins on the day. He started off with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over Sanduky’s Hunter Hayberger in the first round and easily rolled in the semifinals beating Shelby’s Ryan Stahl 6-0 and 6-2. In the finals, he drew an opponent he had yet to play this season in Columbian’s Dustin Digby and beat him 7-5 and 6-3 to end his career as and NOL champ.

“I played him my junior year, but not this year,” Hohman said. “The match started off a bit slow and I was down the entire first set and was able to come back and beat him. I was able to come back and tie it up then take the next two sets. It is great to be able to finish off my senior season as a first team All-NOL player.”

Norwalk then claimed the NOL title in second doubles as senior Max Berry and sophomore Andrew Riley dominated the entire tournament. As the No. 1 seed, they drew a first-round bye and took on Shelby’s Ethan Eidt and Nolan Stahl in the semifinals beating them 6-3 and 6-3. In the finals, the duo took care of Columbian’s Travin Durham and Anthony Petrosino 6-1 and 6-2 for the title.

Senior Andrew Herner took a runner-up finish in first singles after a first-round bye and a 6-4, 6-3 win over Willard’s Tyler Vanichek to punch his ticket to the finals. He ran into Ben Klepper of Columbian and dropped the match in two sets 4-6 and 3-6.

"The Truckers had an awesome tournament today,” Norwalk coach Chris Higgins said. “Any time you have everyone playing in the final, it is a great day. Each final ended up being Norwalk vs Columbian. Andrew didn't quite have enough energy in the final and came up short against Columbian. Jacob was dominate until the final. In the final, he took the best shot from his opponent and won in two close sets. Evan, pulled a rabbit out of a hat, by winning the 1st set after being down the entire time. It really gave him momentum going into the 2nd set. Damon and Austin were never really pushed today and their way to the championship. Max and Andrew were incredibly solid on their way to two quick wins. In the end, this senior class will go down in history as they closed out the NOL with a team championship and won four of the five individual titles."

Each of the first place finishers earned first team All-NOL honors while Herner took home second team honors. Coe leads the way with three all-league awards while Herner and Brown picked up their second. Hohman, Mohan and Berry were first time all-league honorees.

The Truckers return to Shelby on Thursday for sectional tennis kicking off at 9 a.m.

 

Twitter: @JakeFurr11

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