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Pinellas region tennis: St. Petersburg boys cruise on

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Tue. April 10, 2012 | Times Staff

Pinellas region tennis: St. Petersburg boys cruise on

PALM HARBOR — St. Petersburg took care of business in the singles portion of its region match against Palm Harbor University Tuesday.

The Green Devils won four of five singles to makes doubles a formality.

Dylan Sleszynski (No. 2 singles), Danny Zakria (No. 3), Kyle Bulleit  (No. 4) and Matt Kopelman (No. 5) all prevailed. PHU’s lone singles win came from Greg Perenich, who defeated St. Petersburg’s Robert Dvorak 7-6, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.

St. Petersburg did not lose a set in either the singles or doubles matches. Next up is Sarasota Riverview, whom the Green Devils met in the regular season.

“Riverview’s tough,’’ St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis said. “We played them already this year. Didn’t go so well. But we’ll show up and play hard.’’

More Class 4A: Sarasota Riverview defeated visiting East Lake 4-1. The season is over for East Lake, but No. 1 singles player Ganesh Rajaram will compete at state as an individual.

Class 3A: A week after cruising to a district team title, Osceola ran into some tough competition in the first-round of regionals.
Lakewood Ranch, which has a team filled with players on the ITF circuit, swept every match to win 7-0.

Arnav Mohanty, the Mustangs’  top singles players, beat the Warriors’ Michael Detsis 6-0, 6-0. Mohanty’s brother, Arsav, beat Osceola’s Jordan Alexander 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.

At No. 3 singles, Lakewood Ranch’s Jacques Swanepoel beat Luke Alexander 7-5, 6-0.  The other singles champions for the Mustangs were Leonardo Murri, who beat Alberto Lense 7-5, 6-4 at No. 4, and Richy Zhang, who won 6-1, 6-0 over Jamil Morris at No. 5.

In doubles, the Mohanty brothers teamed to beat Detsis and Lense 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1. Lakewood Ranch’s Swanepoel and Zhang were paired in a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Alexander brothers at No. 2

• Largo met its match at Venice, losing to the district champions 7-0.

“It was a really tough region to be in this year,’’ Largo coach Mike Pease said. “Venice was a very good team.’’

Class A: Shorecrest made quick work of Community School of Naples, sweeping every match in a 7-0 victory.

Better still, the Chargers did it without No. 1 Alex Saltiel, who was sick.

Shorecrest readjusted its singles lineup, then administered a thrashing as Nick Litsky won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1. Peter Litsky (No. 2) and Logan Elder (No. 3) each won 6-1, 6-0. Brendan East (No. 4) won 6-1, 6-1. Rohit Reddy (No. 5) had the toughest match, winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

In No. 1 doubles, the tandem of Nick Litsky and East won an 8-0 pro set. Peter Litsky and Elder teamed to win an 8-1 pro set at No. 2.

Girls

Class 4A:  With Palm Harbor University holding a slim 3-2 lead after singles matches Tuesday, it appeared a lock that the Hurricanes would advance to the Class 4A region finals.

The No. 2 doubles team of Shannon Cruz and Hannah Rahman won their first set against Seminole’s Alex Jones and Amanda Mitchell  6-0. But Madsen and Jones fought back to take the second set 6-3.

Things were so uncertain that the No. 1 doubles teams started to play. Cruz and Rahman came through with a 7-6 tiebreaker win in the third to secure the PHU win and set up a region final match at Sarasota Riverview.

“We lost our confidence a little bit in the second set,’’ Cruz said. “But we were able to fight back and play harder.’’

Seminole’s Amy Lowther (No. 1) won 6-1, 6-0 over Carnia Gobes. Cailynn Madsen won a three-set match at No. 2, 0-6, 7-6, 6-4 over Samantha Azadian. PHU won the last three singles matches.

More Class 4A: The East Lake girls were swept 4-0 by Sarasota Riverview. The teams did not play the final singles match or doubles once Riverview got the needed four wins.

Class 3A: Osceola’s Jayla Smith has the county’s top win percentage in singles matches this season, winning 17 of 18 heading into regionals.

n one of the toughest tests of the year, Smith prevailed again, beating Venice’s Emily Zastempawski 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.

“It was one of the better matches I’ve had this season,” Smith said. “She adapted to a lot of balls and was very consistent. I was able to play better when I had to.”

Smith’s victory was the only one for the Warriors, who lost the team title 4-1.

The top three singles matches were closely contested. Osceola’s Jade Smith lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Michaela Mignemi at No. 1. Jessica Schroeder, the Warriors’ No. 3, lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to Ansley Rice.

At No. 4, Osceola’s Meredith Riccardi fell to Sophia Gasca 6-1, 6-2. Rebecca Wunderlich lost 6-2, 6-1 to Taylor Jais at No. 5. Neither doubles match was played.

• Largo lost 7-0 to Lakewood Ranch on Monday. The Packers were unable to take a set off Lakewood Ranch. Largo’s No. 1, Kelly Taylor, did have a competitive match against undefeated Ashley Bongart before losing 6-2, 6-4.

Despite the loss, Taylor will advance to state after winning No. 1 singles in the district tournament.

Class 2A: Lakewood did well in singles at Auburndale. The Spartans’ Avni Agrawal (No. 1), Alexis Dangar (No. 4) and Anjelica Williams (No. 5) all won. But it wasn’t enough as Lakewood fell 4-3.

The other two singles and both doubles matches went to three sets, including the No. 1 doubles team, which lost 7-5 in the third set after leading 4-1.

Rodney Page and Bob Putnam, Times staff writers

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