Four local boys tennis players made their way to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, Queens, to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.
Yet none would flourish as much as Christian Brothers Academy's Matt Nardella, who came within two victories of a state championship before easing into third place - knowing, as a junior, he might get one more chance to win it all in 2012.
Nardella roared Matt Nardella roared through the first round, sweeping past Matt Renzi (Pittsford Mendon) 6-0, 6-0. Fayetteville-Manlius' Nick Westergaard also got through the opening round, taking two sets to top Monroe-Woodbury's Tyler Crill 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).
In the round of 16, Westergaard fell to the top seed, New Rochelle's Jeremy Court, 6-0, 6-3, but Nardella kept going as he dominated Stefan Kuhar (Albany Academy) in a 6-1, 6-1 sweep. The quarterfinal against Forest Hills' Stefan Ilic proved tougher, but Nardella again prevailed in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Now in the rarefied air of the state semifinals, Nardella finally stumbled, as Cold Spring Harbor's Adam Levine beat him 6-4, 6-4, and would go on to beat Court for the title in straight sets. But in the third-place match, Nardella came from behind and beat Garden City's Zach Morris 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 6-2.
East Syracuse-Minoa's doubles tandem of Parker and Brandon Stone ran into a strong opponent in its opening-round match, falling to Kyle Berman and Jordan Kaufman (Byram Hills) 6-0, 6-0, Berman and Kaufman eventually reached the state final.
Put into the consolation bracket gainst Andrew Radin and Alex Henderson (Fairport), the Stones lost in two sets 7-5, 6-3.