AURORA -- Despite losing five seniors to graduation from a 14-win season, veteran Aurora High boys tennis coach Dania Banc saw her young program produce a successful campaign.
Aurora finished 9-7 in all matches and was 3-3 in the Suburban League American Conference. Aurora placed fourth overall in the league, as Banc expected a rebuilding year. The Greenmen were 4-3 in the league in 201 with a lot of experience.
Banc, who will enter her 11th season at the helm next school year, will miss the services of Brad Kennis, the program's only senior.
The only returning players this season were slotted in the singles spots for the most part, including Kennis and juniors Dan French and Andrew Sobodosh.
Newcomers included juniors Alec Besinger and Steven Cravens, sophomores Pranav Jayaumar, Ricky John and Zach Sender, and freshman Izzy Zuckett.
Kennis, who played against some of the area's top singles players, will attend Ball State University in the fall. "He had a winning season and was my only senior," noted Banc. "He was voted second-team All-Suburban League."
Making second-team All-Suburban League were the doubles duo of Kennis and French, who posted a 13-3 record. French battled at the Shaker Heights Division I sectional tournament and was the lone Greenmen to advance beyond the first round with two wins.
French lost to No. 2 seed and eventual sectional champion Paul Gota of University School. "French won two rounds before losing to Gota, who went on to win the sectional tournament and state championship,"said the coach.
Sobodosh made honorable mention all-league. "Andrew and Brad had winning seasons," Banc said. "Besides French, all the others will return to the team next spring."
Cravens also had a solid season and made honorable mention All-Suburban League. Jayakumar lost in the first round in postseason singles, while Besinger and Cravens lost 6-1, 6-0 in the first round of doubles.
More experience was gained at the other doubles post, where John and Zuckett competed and lost in the second round.
Aurora placed fourth in the American Conference tournament with 19 points. Copley won with 37 over Revere's 34 and Medina Highland's 31 points.
At third singles, Sobodosh was fourth overall, falling 6-2, 6-3 in the third-place match to Highland third seed Kyle Yamat. Sobodosh, the No. 4 seed, won 6-0, 6-1 over Barberton's fifth seed Matt Stefan. He then lost 6-2, 6-2 to eventual champion William Yang (Copley).
French, the fourth seed at second singles, placed fourth. Kennis was fifth overall. In the fifth-place match, Kennis was an 8-0 victor in the consolation brackets over Barberton's Tyler Mitchell and then lost to Kent Roosevelt's Ethan Jones 7-5, 6-4.
Aurora's first doubles team of Cravens and Besinger placed fourth after earning the fourth seed. The duo opened with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fifth seed Kent before losing a tough 6-0, 6-2 match to top seed and champion Copley.
Revere, the second seed, beat Aurora in the third-place match 6-3, 7-5. At second doubles, the forth-seeded crew of Jayakumar and Zuckett finished fourth, losing 6-3, 6-2 for third-place to Highland.
Jayakumar and Zuckett won 6-4, 6-0 over Barberton's fifth-seeded team and then lost 6-1, 6-0 to eventual champion Copley.