New faces dominate lineup for Twinsburg boys tennis

Steve Batko
Twinsburg Tigers

While the Twinsburg boys tennis team may lack varsity experience, the Tigers will compensate with solid match experience and other quality intangibles.

Area tennis programs are finally getting time on the courts after COVID-19 took it away last spring.

Veteran head coach Michael Porinchak knows his squad is excited to compete this spring.

“With last year being completely canceled we are ushering in many new players to the program,” said Porinchak.

It doesn’t matter that Brian Nesic is the lone returning player from the last time the Tigers player in 2019.

There’s plenty of excitement for the players and coaches to get under way for the

“The kids are all itching to play after having last season canceled due to the pandemic and I honestly think the only thing on their minds is having fun and playing a sport they love,” said Porinchak.

“With only one returning varsity player we have very little experience,” added Porinchak.

A veteran senior, Nesic can play both doubles and singles.

“Brian is a senior who is the only returning letter winner and he will play first singles,” said Porinchak. “He played first doubles two years ago during his sophomore year. He brings tremendous leadership and talent to our team.”

Porinchak realizes that Nesic will face a brutal array of talented players at the number one spot.

“He will be a steady singles player this season and we will lean on him heavily to perform well, but playing under pressure is something he is used to,” stressed the coach. “Playing first singles also runs in his family as older brother Marco Nesic was a staple at first singles the last few years before graduating.”

“The rest of the team is not necessarily young, but very inexperienced and there are many varsity players looking to make an impact on the team,” said Porinchak.

Porinchak noted singles players include sophomore Jake Terbeek, junior Rainier Soatanto, junior Kevin Lin, and the senior duo of Nathan Hrach and Ian Kirtley.

Spots are still to be ironed out, but Terbeek appears to have a lot of promise.

“Jake is a very talented young player with lots of promise ahead of him and he will look to compete primarily at second singles this year,” Porinchak said. “Jake has very consistent strokes and in the off season, plays some USTA tournaments. So, although he has no varsity high school tennis experience, he does have plenty of match experience, which will benefit him greatly.”

“Rainier is a junior that played a lot of JV singles two years ago and hopes to bring that match experience to the third singles position,” said Porinchak.

Porinchak notes Lin is a superb athlete.

“Kevin is a newcomer to the program and this year he looks to also mix in at third singles and some doubles,” the coach said. “Kevin doesn’t have lots of experience, but is one of our most athletic players.”

“Hrach and Kirtley are two seniors who have been with our program a while and like everyone else they need experience, but have the talent to mix in possibly at a singles position or a doubles spot,” said Porinchak.

Seniors will play a big role on the team, especially in doubles play.

Other players who expect to help in doubles play are senior Brock Woods, senior Nate Wagner, junior Pranav Duvvuri and senior Eric Bernhard.

“Brock Woods was one of better JV doubles players in his freshman and sophomore years and that experience will be needed this year more than ever,” the coach said. “He is a very talented doubles player that seems to always know where to be on the court.”

“I believe Nate Wagner will mix in at first and second doubles this season,” Porinchak said. “Nate is one of our post passionate players with some great on court instincts and tremendous athletic ability.”

Duvvuri brings length to the net.

“Pranav will mix in well at either first or second doubles this year,” noted Porinchak. “He is very tall and well over 6-foot-6, and that height will definitely make him a force to be reckoned with on the serve and at the net.”

“Eric Bernhard is another player who was brand new to the program last year as a junior, but with the season lost, he did not get a chance to experience a ton of match play,” said Porinchak. “But he came into this season ready to learn and develop his game. He has a lot of experience to gain, but has already shown amazing improvement over the first two weeks of the season. He will play a valuable role at first and second doubles this year.”

Suburban League National Conference play will be rugged as usual and kicks off at home for the Tigers April 5 against Nordonia.

“The Suburban League National Division is always a challenge with dominant teams like Hudson and Wadsworth always reloading with tons of talent,” remarked Porinchak. “If we keep our heads on straight, I really think we can compete for a conference title.”

This year’s sectional tournament draw will be May 2 for the Division I Tigers.

Twinsburg was set to open the season Tuesday at home against Chardon Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin.

Twinsburg travels to Chagrin Falls Wednesday and hosts Aurora Thursday.