To say it was a good weekend on the courts for the Rams would be an understatement.
The Miami Valley tennis team qualified four boys – two singles players and a doubles team – to this week’s Division II high school state tennis tournament – a feat the Rams have not accomplished in at least 15 years.
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Rams senior Colton Morehart – who qualified to state as a sophomore – faced off against teammate and first-time state qualifier Niyanth Reddy in the D-II singles semifinals on Saturday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Morehart and Reddy played first and second singles, respectively, for Miami Valley during the season, amassing identical 24-1 records heading into the district semifinals.
But the Rams couldn’t be more different. Morehart is intense and makes his presence known on the court while Reddy, a junior, quietly and methodically plays his game.
“Colton loves to be vocal, you know he’s there,” Miami Valley coach Brenna Bretscher said. “Niyanth is stoic, very even-keeled.”
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It was the fiery senior who dispensed with his teammate Saturday to advance to the finals. Morehart topped Reddy, 6-0, 6-2. Morehart – who finished the day as district runner-up after losing to Indian Hill senior Andrew Pregel – knows how critical seedings are at the state tournament. The IUPUI-bound player bowed out in the opening round in 2016.
“It was a good match, but I definitely could have played a lot better,” Morehart said of his last state appearance. “I wanted to get as far as I could at the district to give myself the best chance at state.”
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Makul Sharma and Reece Quigley of Miami Valley also finished just one win shy of a district championship. Sharma, a first-time state qualifier, and Quigley, who qualified last season, lost a three-set district final to Maanas Pisati and Mack Ellis, of Indian Hill, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“Makul is a senior and he could have played singles this season, but he told me he wanted to do ‘whatever was best for the team,’ ” Bretscher said. “That’s the kind of player he is, the kind of person he is.”
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• Cousins Nathan and Nick Brumbaugh of West Milton earned a D-II state berth in doubles with a third-place finish Saturday. Nick, a junior, and Nathan, a sophomore, lost to Miami Valley’s Sharma and Quigley in the semifinals but edged Ash Annapantula and Herschel Albert of Cincinnati Country Day in the finals to place third.
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• Beavercreek sophomore Austin Staiger is also state-bound after a fourth-place finish in D-I singles, as is Fenwick senior Dylan Sagan, who placed fourth in D-II singles.
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