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Boys region tennis: Plant rolls over Palm Harbor U.

TAMPA — Fresh off a district title, Plant made quick work of Palm Harbor University with a 7-0 victory in Tuesday's first-round region match in Class 4A at Cal Dickson Tennis Center.

No. 1 Tristan Kaye, No. 2 Brenton D'adamo and No. 4 Lantz Martin each won singles matches 6-1, 6-1, while No. 3 Mike Secular and No. 5 Adam Osiason won in two sets.

Plant earns a rematch with district rival and defending state champ Wharton in the second round. Plant reached this round two years ago but lost to the Wildcats, who went on to win the first of two state titles.

"We're looking forward to it," said Martin, Plant's captain and a four-year top-five singles player. "It would prove that we've utilized our talent as well as we knew we could. We've never stepped up like that before, but I know we have the talent to win."

4A: Wildcats rebound

ST. PETERSBURG — Two-time defending Class 3A state champion Wharton barely made it out of districts. The Wildcats' region semifinal against St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center was a bit less suspenseful.

Wharton took four of five singles matches and both doubles points in a convincing 6-1 win.

"We're really looking forward to trying to get our third straight title," No. 1 player Mike Alford said.

Alford held off St. Petersburg's Edward Corty 6-1, 6-3. Ben Hwang took care of Philip Novikov 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. At No. 3, Rohit Navelkar won 6-0, 6-1 over Robert Perry, and Jon Ho handled Danny Zakira 6-0, 6-3 at No. 5 singles.

Alford and Navelkar teamed to win 8-5 in the top doubles spot, and Hwang and Ho were 8-4 winners at No. 2 doubles.

3A: Hillsborough rolls

TAMPA — Hillsborough appears well on its way to states, dropping one game in singles play against Largo to win 7-0.

No. 1 Brian Kowalski, No. 2 Jack Murphy, No. 3 Alex Peckham and No. 4 J Mendoza each won 6-0, 6-0, and No. 5 Karim Saad won 6-0, 6-1.

District and region realignment has been kind to the Terriers, who haven't dropped a match in district play.

"It's kind of funny how it's working," Murphy said. "We're in a new district and a new region, so we're kind of blind out there."

3A: East Bay cruises

CLEARWATER — East Bay won in regionals for the first time, defeating Dunedin 6-1.

The Falcons started strong at No. 1 singles with Mike Beiler beating Kyle Whiteside 6-4, 6-1.

But the Indians took control, with Tim Anderson (No. 2), David Giampa (No. 3), Robbie Kopstad (No. 4) and Dawson Diehl (No. 5) winning easily.

"I felt good about our chances," East Bay coach Kevin Hughes said. "About the only surprise was at No. 1 singles. But (Beiler) is a very good player."

2A: Jesuit too strong

TAMPA — Jesuit coach Joe Curtis had concerns about the Spartans' experience — Lakewood starts four seniors and a junior — but the Tigers rolled to a 5-0 win.

All freshmen, the Tigers' top three — No. 1 Jamie Sullivan (6-2, 6-2), No. 2 Jordan Nasser (6-1, 6-1) and No 3. David Pagiarulo (6-3, 6-4) — led Jesuit. No. 4 Ryan Walden (6-1, 6-0) and No. 5 T.R. Bopp (6-1, 6-0) also cruised.

"We played very well (Tuesday), but we know Thursday we'll have to play even better," Curtis said.

2A: Steinbrenner falls

Bayshore knocked off visiting Steinbrenner 4-3. No. 1 Tianyu Bao defeated Steinbrenner's Luke Blankenship 6-1, 6-0 before teaming with Pedro Garcia to defeat Blankenship and Anthony Melatti 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to clinch the match.

A: Berkeley focused

Berkeley Prep dropped just six total games in five singles matches in a 5-0 win over visiting Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic.

No. 1 Nathan Graddy, No. 2 Eric Fitz-Randolph, No. 3 Zach Ayers, No. 4 Nikita Leonov and No. 5 Gannon Kennedy all won in straight-set matches.

"We looked very focused (Tuesday)," Berkeley coach Gary Baker said. "No one dropped more than one game in a set. We played them earlier, but we've been working the whole year for this week. We came in and took care of business."

A: Tampa Prep ousted

All Saints' rolled to a 5-1 victory over Tampa Prep, and its only loss came at No. 5 singles. Tampa Prep's Robbie Carter defeated Terrence Nealy 6-3, 6-3.

Times staff writers Bryan Burns and Bob Putnam, the Lakeland Ledger and the Bradenton Herald contributed to this report.

. Up next

Regional, Round 2

All matches Thursday at 3 p.m.

4A: Wharton at Plant

3A: East Bay at Hillsborough

2A: Bayshore at Jesuit

A: All Saints' at Berkeley Prep

Boys region tennis: Plant rolls over Palm Harbor U. 04/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:33pm]
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