GRANGER TWP. — Twin brothers Raj and Ram Kumar of Revere love to play tennis.
The Kumar brothers are both in their fourth year playing for the Minutemen, and each teenager described his style on the court as “aggressive and consistent.”
The seniors entered the Suburban League American Conference boys tennis tournament on Saturday as top seeds at Highland, and they left Medina County as individual and team champions.
Raj Kumar won the first singles title by defeating Grant Jones of Kent Roosevelt 6-1, 6-2 in the final round.
“I stayed focused and hit the ball clean,” Raj Kumar said. “I just tried to keep my focus throughout the match.”
Ram Kumar won the second singles crown by defeating William Yang of Copley 6-4, 6-2 in the final round.
“I kept my composure,” Ram Kumar said. “I started off a little nervous, but I managed to play high percentage and put the ball back in play.”
The Kumars led Revere to a team title as well after the Minutemen compiled a 6-0 dual record against their league rivals in the regular season.
Raj Kumar lost to Jones in the tournament last year.
"I saw him with a real determination today and today was the best I have seen him play this year so far,” Revere coach Paul Fisher said. “Bringing it at the biggest moments was very exciting to see. Ram has now won his flight three out of four years at this tournament. He won once at third singles and now two at second singles. He is always playing well here at this time of the year and I expected nothing less from him.”
Revere also received solid contributions from sophomore Ben Lazbin (second in third singles), senior William Sun and junior Esa Malik (second in first doubles) and junior DJ Donich and junior Eric An (first in second doubles).
“I am very happy with how the boys have been playing all season,” Fisher said. “We were confident coming into this tournament that we would do well, and the boys really played their best today. … The doubles teams played really well today. They competed and we saw two real close matches with really good Highland teams.”
Holden Schmid of Copley won the third singles title 6-2, 6-2 over Lazbin.
Senior Logan Spittle and sophomore AJ Cooper teamed up to win first doubles for Highland with a victory over Sun and Malik. Highland juniors Owen Gsellman and Brendan Noonan were second to Donich and An at second doubles.
“We played as a team really well and we kept each other motivated,” Spittle said. “That was our probably our best aspect because in the final, we lost our first set, but then we came back with a better attitude and I think that is what helped us win.”
Sun and Malik won the first set 6-3, and then Spittle and Cooper took the next two sets 6-3 and 6-1.
“We pump each other and keep the intensity going,” Cooper said. “… We kept the intensity up and I can say that we both stepped our games up and played extremely aggressive in our final match against Revere.”
The following individuals finished third: Copley’s Keenen Lambert (first singles) and Highland’s Nate Gillin (second singles) and Pavel Belyanskiy (third singles).
Highland’s Tyler Erba was fourth at first singles.
“It was a great day,” Highland coach Lisa Reynolds said. “It started off being a little chilly, but it warmed up. We had prom last night, so some of my guys were at prom. They were a little tired, but they worked through it. Our doubles players played great.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.