MEDINA: Cloverleaf’s Jacob Dunbar upheld a family tradition in impressive fashion in his last Suburban League tennis tournament Saturday at Medina High School.
The rest of the day belonged to Copley, however, as the Indians won the other two singles and both doubles matches in straight sets to capture the tournament title on a sunny but windy day.
“We were pleased with the wins that we had,” said Copley coach Mark Ullman. “We have had a good season so far and we won the dual match schedule so we wanted to win the tournament, which we did. With four wins and one finalist, I think we did quite well.”
Copley had already earned the league title in dual meets, with a 7-0 mark (16-1 overall). Revere placed second Saturday.
“That is one of the strengths of our team, that we have a lot of depth,” said Ullman. “Everybody is capable of stepping up and winning a big match. So I think they all did well.”
Meanwhile, Dunbar defeated Copley senior Jarad Pennington in first singles 6-1, 6-3 for his third league championship in a row. His brother, Ethan, won the previous four during his time at Copley, giving them seven in a row.
Dunbar also beat Pennington 6-0, 6-0 in their earlier match this year.
“Every day is different,” said Dunbar. “Not a big deal to play a few extra games here or there. He’s a strong player, with good groundstrokes and a decent serve. I mean, just the whole consistency to be able to pound from the baseline with him. I played well. I felt good.”
Dunbar (19-0) also topped Nordonia’s Tyler DiSiena 6-0, 6-0 and Highland’s Steve Smykal 6-1, 6-3 Saturday to reach the final. It was the type of effort Cloverleaf coach Mike McGee has learned to expect from the junior standout.
“I’m just very proud of him,” said McGee. “He had a great tournament and a great season so far. He’s picked up his game a lot. It was a great match. The wind affected things a little bit today, but we’re used to that at Cloverleaf.”
Dunbar placed fourth in the Division I state tournament as a freshman and made the final eight last year. He will now try to earn his way back there with sectional and district play later this month.
He has been equally proficient in the classroom. Though only in his junior year, he will graduate from Cloverleaf in June. Dunbar also earned a scholarship to the University of Richmond, where he will join his brother on the tennis team next year.
“You know he’s a tough opponent when you go into the match,” said Pennington (18-5). “But I didn’t think about that. I just tried to get back as many balls as I could. He doesn’t really miss. He’s got a lot of experience. I thought I didn’t play that bad. Yeah, he got me today.”
Pennington’s teammates all had plenty to celebrate, though. Copley junior Andrew Ong (23-0) lost only one game in two matches, defeating Highland’s Michael Hutchings 6-0, 6-0 to win second singles. Senior Alan Du (15-1) won third singles over Revere sophomore Matt Harris 7-5, 6-1.
Ong also won against Hutchings in a dual meet last week but said he lost a couple of games in that match.
“Last time we played inside and I think playing outside works to my advantage,” said Ong. “I feel my game is just more suited to playing outside. It’s easier to stay in the point. I can just grind some points out.”
Du, who is bound for Princeton next year, fought off a tough challenge in the first set against Harris.
“He played well so it was a tough set,” said Du. “Luckily, I got a [service] break near the end to make it 6-5 and then I held serve. I played him last year and it was a close first set, too.”
In the doubles matches, two sets of brothers emerged victorious for the Indians. Senior Austin Aten and freshman Gavin Aten defeated Revere’s Frank Jin and Bharat Kumar 6-1, 6-0. Twin juniors Matt and Nick Adzema won second doubles 6-3, 6-0 over Wadsworth’s Asa Berlin and Owen McDevitt.
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