Aurora -- This could be a big spring for the Aurora High boys tennis team.
A fast start by the experienced Greenmen netters is one thing, but veteran sixth-year head coach Dania Banc realizes that matches aren't won on paper.
However, the reason for Aurora faithful to be excited is that the Greenmen return five seniors from last year's squad.
In their first five matches, the Greenmen posted 5-0 victories over Painesville Harvey, Wickliffe, Mentor Lake Catholic, Kirtland and Notre Dame Cathedral Latin.
The Aurora program has won four straight Chagrin Valley Conference titles and were 10-0 a year ago. The Greenmen were 16-4 overall, and play all of their home matches at Western Reserve Racquet Club.
Banc wants another strong regular season campaign, along with another CVC crown, but Aurora would like to get one or two athletes to the grueling Division I district tournament.
AHS has moved to the Solon sectional tournament this spring after competing two years in Medina.
"We have five strong returning seniors to the varsity team," said Banc. "With as strong as this team is, I'm confident we'll take the conference championship again. I believe this year some of the guys will advance out of Solon to the district tournament."
The seniors include first singles player Misha Shatokhin, followed by second and third singles players Scott Adsit and Michael Kuryshev, respectively.
At first doubles, Banc is relying on senior players Ben Sender and David Allen.
"These five seniors are extremely strong and have had hard-fought battles against each other for their positioning (on the team)," she said.
Filling the second doubles post primarily is sophomore Reece DeAnna and freshman Bradley Kennis.
Also seeing some varsity action this year are sophomores Brian Poremba and Connor Bowen.
"Through our first five matches, the guys dominated by not dropping a single court," said Banc.
Kuryshev had not lost a single game in the first five matches. Shatokhin had dropped only three total games, while Adsit lost five games.
"These guys have grown so much physically that they are impressive to watch," Banc said. "The five seniors' ground strokes and serves are nearly unstoppable. If they bring their "A" games to every match, this could be their best season yet."
A key match coming up is April 30 against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.