Marco Nesic survived a tough sectional tournament as the sophomore Twinsburg boys tennis standout earned his second straight district tournament berth.
Twinsburg competed at the deep Medina Division I Sectional Tournament at Springside Racquet and Fitness Center in Akron.
Nesic placed third overall in singles action to qualify for the district tournament.
"Marco came out as the third seed and he is going to districts for the second straight year," said Tiger veteran head coach Mike Porinchak.
Nesic (19-4) will compete at the Akron Division I District tournament at Springside Thursday and Saturday.
The top six finishers at Springside advance to the Division I state tournament at Mason's Lindner Family Tennis Center May 25 and 26.
In sectional action, Nesic posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the quarterfinals over Hudson's Wendell Wu.
The talented Nesic then fell 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals against second seed Adam Slomski from Brunswick. Slomski was the sectional runner-up.
"His first three rounds were very easy until he ran into Slomski," saidPorinchak.
"Marco played a great match and it was very competitive," added Porinchak. "However, Slomski's first serve was very good and he was serving it at a high percentage. Marco fought really hard though and got a lot of great experience."
Nesic was a 7-6, 6-2 winner over Grant Jones of Kent Roosevelt in the third-place match.
"In the third-place match, Marco played brilliantly," said Porinchak. "Grant is a big hitter and a very smart player, but Marco's game was very strong and he was able to win some big points to send the first set to a tie-breaker after being down 5-3."
"After winning the tie-breaker, Marco kept his energy and confidence sky high and cruised into the second set."
Porichak said Nesic is ready for the task of gaining a state berth.
"Marco is one of the most level-headed players I have ever coached and he stays very stoned faced and never shows much emotion," explained his mentor. "He has a short memory and when he loses a point, game, or set, his strategy is simply on to the next one."
"He (Nesic) is very much looking forward to districts and trying to get a few wins and maybe make it to states."
Zach Georgevich also impressed in singles action for Twinsburg. He reached the third round before falling 6-4, 6-1 to Hudson's Kevin Si.
Georgevich had a pair of three-set wins over North Royalton's Joe Krzywicki (2-6, 6-2, 6-2) and over Stow-Munroe Falls' Jacob Shull (6-3, 5-7, 6-2).
Georgevich finished the season at 19-3.
"Zach played spectacular," said Porinchak. "Zach plays so smart and makes great adjustments in match, better than any other player we have."
Twinsburg's Zach McIlroy also had success in singles play.
McIlroy went 2-0 in singles play, including a big 6-3, 6-2 win over Stow's Zack Kline.
In the third round, McIlroy fell 6-4, 6-2 to Copley's Holden Schmid.
McIlroy finished at 16-6 on the season.
"Zach [McIlroy] also won his first two matches before falling in the third round," said his coach.
Daryl Nana and Mike Sterling led the Tigers in doubles play at the sectional.
"I am very proud of the first doubles team Daryl Nana and Mike Sterling," said Porinchak. "After an easy win the first round they faced a very good team from Revere."
The Tiger duo lost 6-7 5-7 to Revere's Esa Malik and Ben Lazbin 7-6, 7-5 in the third round. Sterling finished 16-6 on the season.
"They lost, but it was one of the better matches they played all year," added the coach. "Daryl has been such a great doubles player in his three-year career at varsity and it will be sad to see him go."
"Mike has slowly gained a ton of confidence in his game and is one of the best doubles players we have ever had here. I couldn't be prouder of them."
Also competing in the tourney in doubles play and making their post season debut for Twinsburg were Xander Bard (2-1 this spring) and Adam Groenke (2-1). They lost 6-2, 6-4 to Medina in the first round.
Twinsburg (15-3) will miss seniors Ryan Lecaros (17-3 overall in doubles play), Soumil Jain (17-3 in doubles action), and Nana (12-5 in doubles play) to graduation.
"We had such a great year and every players at some point step up and got us a win," noted the coach about the regular season. "It was one of the best teams I have ever coached while here and it will be sad to say good bye to our seniors."
"Soumil, Ryan, and Daryl were fantastic leaders and led us to a great season that they should be very proud of," he added.
"Winning 15 matches in Northeast Ohio is not easy and a lot of shots had to go our way, but it was the players who truly played with a lot of heart and grit."
Others who played this spring were: Brian Nesic (6-1), Nikhil Prasad (0-1), Brock Woods (1-0), Hardik Polamarasetti (1-0), and Rohan Deshpande (1-0).
"Our JV coach Russ Chappell is truly one of the best coaches and we have the JV players ready to compete at the varsity level nest year for sure," said Porinchak. "He deserves a lot of credit for the success of our program."
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC