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May 29, 2020

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3 Bulldog netters advance to districts

Ada's Spar wins sectional tennis crown

By Cort Reynolds
LIMA - The Ada tennis team competed exceptionally well at the Div. II UNOH sectionals in Lima Thursday and Saturday, with three Bulldogs making it to district play in singles by finishing in the final four.

Ada dominated the singles flight as the Bulldog trio comprised three of the four semifinalists. The threesome went 12-1 against non-Ada teammates as the program qualified three players to district singles for the first time ever in a single event.

As the top singles seed in the 33-player field, Bulldog senior Cade Mullins got a first round bye and then whipped Rylee Messenger of Kenton 6-0, 6-0 Thursday.

In the third round on Saturday, Mullins double-bageled Nick Forlow of Celina 6-0, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals. In the quarters he eliminated Michael Hellman of Van Wert 6-1, 6-3 to reach the final four.

In the semifinals Saturday, Mullins faced off against junior teammate Isaac Spar.

Spar had defeated Elida's Riley Fricke 6-2, 6-1 in round one Thursday. Later that day he eliminated top Bluffton player Drew Wilson 6-0, 6-0 in round two of the singles flight.

In the quarters Saturday Spar defeated Nolan Unterbrink of Ottawa-Glandorf 6-2, 6-2 to set up a semifinal showdown vs. teammate Mullins.

Spar, who has played second singles all spring behind Mullins, then upset his fellow Bulldog with a 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 comeback victory.

Once past his teammate, in the finals Spar easily took out O-G's Kamron Maag 6-0, 6-2 to win the sectional title.

Ada sophomore Miranda Wills took third in the singles consolation match against Mullins when he had to retire with the score tied 1-1 in the first set.

Wills first beat Kenny Lovett of Bluffton 6-0, 6-0 in round one Thursday. She then upset Elida second seed Tyler Christoff 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in a three-set battle to make the quarters on Saturday.

Wills took out Shawnee's Chris Paysen 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semis. O-G's Maag beat her 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in another three-set marathon to advance to the finals vs. Spar.

The two Ada doubles teams also fared well, each falling one win short of district qualification.

Ada senior Morgan Swick and freshman Dexter Woods teamed up to win at doubles in round one 6-1, 7-5 over Mack Burner and Jordan Siefer of Bluffton Thursday.

The tandem then rallied to beat Shawnee's Carter Schaaf and Gabe Rutter in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the final eight.

In the quarters Saturday the Bulldog duo fell 6-4, 6-3 to Jacob Ramirez and Riley Creps, the second-seeded team from Elida that eventually finished third.

Bulldogs Hunter Wells and Reece Evans also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals before being eliminated. The duo beat Michael Seffernick and Zach Burris of LCC in round one 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

In the round of 16 the Ada pair beat Celina's R.J. Veit and Kendall Hull 6-1, 6-4 to reach the round of eight. There they fell to top seeds Drew Kuhlman and Parker Schoemaeker of O-G 6-0, 6-0.

The O-G duo ended up second, losing the doubles finals to third-seeded teammates Carter and Colin Welch in the finals 7-6, 6-4.

Spar, Wills and Mullins will now each play at Bowling Green in the Div. II districts May 16/18. A top four finish at districts qualifies a player to the Div. II state meet at Mason.