Nesic wins league first singles title for Twinsburg tennis

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Twinsburg Tigers

Behind a potent serve and volley game, Brian Nesic proved that he, too can capture a first singles league championship,

Even more impressive was that Nesic won the first singles crown in the Suburban League National Conference through some adversity.

First, the tournament ballooned into a two-day tourney that spanned two different weeks with the culmination coming May 6 at Medina Highland.

Finally, Nesic fought through a wrist injury that limited his backhand.

The top-seeded Nesic followed in his older brother’s footsteps as the last first single champ in the Suburban League was Marco Nesic, the 2019 first singles champion!

“My overall strengths are my determination to win and to come back when I am down,” said Nesic.

Fortunately, Nesic didn’t have to come from behind in the league finals.

Nesic won his first singles title match at Highland by a 6-0, 6-2 score over second seed Andrew Youssef, of Brecksville.

“Brian played great in the tournament and we thought that the finals match would be much closer,” said Tiger head coach Mike Porinchak.

“He took care of things pretty quickly and he had a much better volley,” added the coach. “His serve and volley game was strong.”

After an opening 6-0, 6-0 win, Nesic won 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 over Hudson’s Charlie Yurak, the fifth seed, who finished fourth overall.

“I thought Brian did a great job as his backhand was kind of weak because of a wrist injury,” explained Porinchak. “He was slicing his backhand a little because it was weak due to the injury. He couldn’t do a full two-hand backhand.”

Twinsburg finished fifth overall at the tourney and ended fifth in the league’s final standings. The Tigers were 4-3 and fifth in the regular season standings.

At the 8-team tourney, Brecksville won with 38 points over Hudson (28), Wadsworth (28), North Royalton (26), and Twinsburg (24).

The final overall combined standings of the regular season matches and the tournament showed Brecksville (7-0) with 16 points, followed by Hudson and Wadsworth tied at 13 points, North Royalton with 9.5 points, Twinsburg with 8.5 points, and Cuyahoga Falls with six points.

Twinsburg sophomore Jake Terbeek finished third overall at second singles.

As the tournament’s second seed behind top seed and eventual champion William Liu, of Brecksville, Terbeek won his third-place match 7-5, 6-0 over Wadsworth fourth seed Matthias Boland.

After a first round 7-5, 6-2 win over Stow-Munroe Falls’ Will Allio, Terbeek fell in the semifinals 6-0, 6-0 to eventual runner-up J.J. Campbell, from North Royalton.

“In the third-place match, Jake really turned it on in the second game and played well,” pointed out Porinchak.

“We were hoping to get Jake to the championship match, but he lost a tough one to a kid (Campbell) he had beaten in the regular season,” added Porinchak of Terbeek’s postseason debut.

In the first doubles bracket, the doubles team of seniors Brock Woods and Nate Wagner made it to the semifinal match after topping the Cuyahoga Falls duo of Brandan Schertz and Noah Hite 6-2, 6-4.

The Tiger duo lost 6-4, 6-4 to the top-seeded team from Brecksville in the semis and were edged in the third-place test against Hudson 7-5, 6-3.

“Nate and Brock had a great match against Hudson and just could not get over the top,” noted Porinchak. “They played fantastic, but this field was really loaded with a lot of competition.”

At second doubles, Pranav Duvvuri and Eric Bernhard won the consolation bracket to finish in fifth place.

In the first match for Duvvuri and Bernhard, the Tiger duo had a match point in an upset bid of the Wadsworth crew that placed third overall, but couldn’t close it out in a tough 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 loss to the Grizzlies.

“They did have a match point and that would have been a big upset,” said Porinchak. “They played well despite not having played together as much as we would have liked in the regular season.”

In third singles action, Evan Bunker lost in the consolation bracket.

Twinsburg will compete at the difficult Springside Division I Sectional tournament in Akron on May 12.

Porinchak is hoping Nesic can survive and advance to the district championships at Springside on May 20.

Nesic’s brother, Marco Nesic finished with a brilliant 73-22 career record at Twinsburg as the all-time record holder for career wins. His 21 wins in 2019 tied Patrick Yackmack in 2010 for the most single season victories in school history.

Marco Nesic has the most district matches for any Tiger in recent history and Brian Nesic is looking to have his own success as the fourth seed in singles action.

“I think Brian can possibly make it out to districts, but it will be really tough for all of the kids,” said the Tiger coach, as the top four singles players will advance to districts. “It is a tough bracket.”

“Marco was a district qualifier his junior and senior seasons and hopefully, Brian can make it.”