The best advice Springboro High School tennis coach Troy Holtrey can give his four Division I district qualifiers is this – enjoy the moment. Holtrey plans to do the same thing.
Holtrey leads two singles players and a doubles team into today’s first day of action at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. The site also hosts the Western & Southern Open, one of the sport’s premier events for the ATP and WTA tours.
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“What a great experience for a high-school aged kid. Heck, it’s going to be a great experience for me,” Holtrey said. “I don’t know how nervous I’m going to be. I’m excited for them, I know that.”
Springboro freshman Sainandan Dore and junior Vincent Lyons compete in singles. Senior Matt Satter and freshman Josh Satter qualified in the doubles tournament.
Dore, who won the Greater Western Ohio Conference Gold Flight tournament at first singles, emerged out of the competitive Centerville sectional tournament as champion. Dore didn’t drop a set until beating Lyons 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals. Dore then beat Beavercreek junior Austin Staiger 6-2, 6-1 for the sectional title.
“I can’t tell you the history of the Dayton sectional,” Holtrey said, “but a freshman winning it is such an exceptional accomplishment. It really sets the stage well for him. He’s got an opportunity to do something as a freshman that not many get to do.
“He’s got to go and enjoy the moment. That’s part of how you manage the pressure. Enjoy this because it doesn’t come along every day.”
Lyons opens with Butler junior Brandon Kreger.
“He’s really had an incredible year for us. Mentally he’s a very tough kid,” Holtrey said. “To play him, you are in a long match because he’s just going to battle.”
In doubles, the Satter brothers face Troy’s team of juniors Nathan Kleptz and Jackson Goodall.
“I’m so happy for that family that they get to do this,” Holtrey said. “To have their sons play on a district team … we are very fortunate with a lot of kids who have neat opportunities.”
Springboro’s schedule should have Dore and his teammates prepared for what they’ll face at the ultra-competitive Southwest district tournament. Holtrey said the Panthers 12 times played teams ranked among the top 10 in the state this season. And they played all of those matches on the road.
“Even though tennis is somewhat of an individual sport, these kids stick together and they root for reach other. It’s been a lot of fun,” Holtrey said.
Among other highlights:
Beavercreek qualified Staiger at singles and the doubles team of senior Zach Savino and freshman Alan Xie. The Beavers went 17-3 as a team despite graduating five seniors from last season.
“That alone tells you a little bit about the character of these young men,” Beavercreek coach Greg Milano said. “The district draws are very challenging, and it will take a tremendous effort to advance to the state tournament. With that being said, if anyone can achieve that task, it would be these young men. I know they will give it everything they have and, as a coach, that’s all I can ever ask.
Chaminade Julienne advanced a pair of doubles teams with seniors Joe Allaire and Connor Kocur and senior Will Marshall and junior Sam Kohls.
“I said to them at the beginning of last week my dream for them was to play at least one match at one of the greatest tennis venues in the world,” CJ coach Jim Brooks said. “They have achieved that dream for themselves, and I hope they enjoy every minute of it. … These are veteran high school players who are just fantastic people and leaders, and three of them are at the end of their high school careers, so it is a good way for them to go out.”
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