Six local boys tennis players, hailing from three different schools – Fayetteville-Manlius, Manlius-Pebble Hill and East Syracuse-Minoa - made their way to Queens to compete in the New York State Public High School Association championship tournament.
As they do each year, the state tournament is contested on the grounds of the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, annual home of the U.S. Open.
Given the no. 5 seed in doubles, Fayetteville-Manlius’ team of Dan Miron and Nick Westergaard won in Thursday’s opening round, handling Logan and Brandon Toops (Webster Thomas) in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
Against another brother tandem, Colin and Zan Stewart (Norwich), in Friday’s round of 16, Miron and Westergaard proved even more dominant, winning by scores of 6-3 and 6-0 to make their way to the state quarterfinal.
In that round, playing against the no. 4 seed, John Jay/East Fishkill’s James Aronson and Hayden Cassone, Miron and Westergaard would take a 6-3, 6-0 defeat, with Aronson and Cassone eventually losing in the semifinals.
Still, Miron and Westergaard were not done. A separate tournament was held for those who lost in the quarterfinals, and after a forfeit, the F-M pair Dylan Davis and Duane Davis (Half Hollow Hills West) 6-2, 6-3 to finish fifth, but claim the fourth-place medal in the public-school division, the best finish of any F-M entrant in a state tournament.
The youngest member of the contingent, Manlius-Pebble Hill eighth-grader Andrew Mariados, won his opening-round match last Thursday afternoon, taking little time to put away Peru’s Johnny McAuliffe in a 6-0, 6-0 shutout.
Cold reality struck the next day, though, as Mariados ran into a more experienced foe, no. 3 seed Artemie Amari (Beacon), in the round of 16, and while he played a tremendous first set, Mariados still lost, 6-4, and watched Amari also take the second set by a 6-1 margin.
Section III’s third-place finisher in singles, Fayetteville-Manlius junior Josh Druger, did not get out of the opening round, falling to the no. 8 seed, Cornwall’s Ernesto Dillon, in a pair of 6-1 sets.
Moving to doubles, East Syracuse-Minoa’s junior tandem of Brandon Stone and Tyler Underwood successfully navigated the first round, getting a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Brooklyn Tech’s Daniel Negru and Denis Koral.
Then, in the round of 16, Stone and Underwood met Mark Fallati and Nick Lee, from Mamaroneck, and lost a tough 6-3, 6-4 decision to a pair that would eventually reach the semifinal round.