• Area Teams Continue Reign in District Tennis

    By Larry Savage, Gainesville Sun Staff Writer, April 5, 2011


    Oak Hall and P.K. Yonge continued their dominance in District 4-1A tennis Tuesday, with the Eagles winning their third straight boys tournament title and the Blue Wave capturing their fourth straight in girls.

    Oak Hall, which hosted the two-day district tourney and had to squeeze off water on the courts after Tuesday’s early morning storms, advanced four of their five singles players in the finals. Getting wins for the Eagles were seniors Zach Thibault and Alvin Wang, and junior Apurv Suman.

    “It is gratifying that we continue our high caliber of play,” said Oak Hall co-head coach John Dickinson. “We are happy our four seniors will go out with another district title.”

    Oak Hall will host Tuesday’s regional match play against a Jacksonville school, likely either Trinity Christian or Episcopal. Dickinson said he will know in a few days.

    The Eagles beat out St. Augustine St. Joseph and St. Francis for the boys title. P.K. Yonge and Union County also competed.

    Thibault took the No. 3 title, beating Matt Tueth of St. Francis, 6-4, 7-5 while Wang topped Josh Buckner of St. Francis at No. 4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Suman outbattled P.K. Yonge’s Thomas Buschbacker, 6-2, 6-1, in No. 5 singles.

    For the third straight year, Oak Hall’s No. 1 player Tyler Werbel fell to Henning Ander of St. Joseph, who picked up his third straight district title with a 6-1, 6-1 win.

    “They always play a heck of a match, and did again today,” Dickinson said. “Henning is just a little bit better than Tyler.”

    In the girls, the Blue Wave swept the top four singles, getting wins from No. 1 Jazz Whittaker, No. 2 Kiah Turner, No. 3 Zari Whittaker and No. 4 sixth-grader Madison Sagas. P.K. Yonge also swept both doubles, which included the duo of Jazz Whittaker and Turner, who are unbeaten at No. 1. Last year, the two captured the state 1A title at No. 2 doubles.

    “We have had a pretty good season,” said Blue Wave assistant coach Leanne Yarn, who is in her first year. “They are playing very well, and look forward to regionals. It is exciting knowing that almost all of them are coming back, but we will be losing a very good No. 3 player (Zari Whittaker).”

    Sophomore Jazz Whittaker downed Anna Marzak of Santa Fe, 6-0, 6-2, while the freshman Turner beat Oak Hall’s Zahara Chowdhury, 6-3, 6-2. Zari Whittaker defeated Gaelin McLeod of Oak Hall, 6-3, 6-3, and Sagas blanked Alexis Mast of Oak Hall, 6-0, 6-0.

    The Blue Wave will host a first-round regional match on Tuesday. Their opponent has yet to be determined.

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