Tennis stars from six different local high schools were battling for spots in the state tournament during last week’s Section III state qualifier – and three of the schools would end up with players heading for New York City.
That included the top two doubles teams in the tournament, which started last Thursday at Mott Courts in Utica, as Fayetteville-Manlius’ duo of Dan Miron and Nick Westergaard and East Syracuse-Minoa’s team of Brandon Stone and Tyler Underwood got to the finals.
Miron and Westergaard started with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout over Adam Blanks and Sam Olsen (Clinton), followed by a 6-0, 6-1 romp over Ross Padula and Sean Saltzburger (New Hartford), leading to the semifinals, where they secured advancement by beating teammates Mike Mintskovsky and Brooks Nagle 6-1, 6-1.
On the other half of the bracket, Stone and Underwood beat CBA’s duo of Dan Mantooth and Brooks Werner 6-2, 6-2 in its round of 16 match and, in the quarterfinals, got past Hunter Cohen-Ciampichini and Nick Walker (Baldwinsville) 6-2, 6-1. Then, in the semifinals, a 6-0, 6-1 romp over West Genesee’s Alex Fox and Connor Smith put them in the finals.
They played the final on Friday, at Drumlins, and it proved to be a lopsided affair as Miron and Westergaard handled Stone and Underwood 6-0, 6-1, though both will play again next weekend for the state tournament at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Moving to the singles division, Manlius-Pebble Hill’s Andrew Mariados proved a revelation. He beat Utica Proctor’s Kevin Vo 6-0, 6-3 in his opening match and surprised West Genesee’s Garrett Boleslav 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals before a 6-2, 6-3 semifinal win over Cazenovia’s Nate Romig secured a trip to the state tournament.
Josh Druger made his own run, too, for F-M, romping past WG’s Connor McGuigan 6-0, 6-2 and then topping New Hartford’s Deepak John by those same scores before running into McGuigan’s teammate, Brent Boleslav, in the semifinals and taking a 6-2, 6-3 defeat.