THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo
The Anthony Wayne tennis team never lost sight of the season's goal.
Winning the Northern Lakes League championship for the second year in a row was tops on the agenda.
The Generals completed their mission yesterday by tying for first place with Perrysburg at the NLL tournament at AW.
By virtue of its league record (6-1) and sharing the tournament championship with the Yellow Jackets, AW edged Perrysburg 34 1/2-32 1/2 for the league championship.
A victory during the season for the Generals over the Yellow Jackets, who finished league play with a 5-2 record, ultimately decided the NLL champion.
"I have good players and they've done it," said ecstatic AW coach Jerry Reed, who started the tennis program in 1969. "They worked hard. They wanted it."
No. 1 singles player Kyle Doyle and the No. 1 doubles team of Andrew Hohl and Matt Kuck paced AW's push toward its second straight NLL championship.
Doyle successfully defended his No. 1 singles title by defeating Maumee's Toby Flemming 6-2, 6-1. The AW senior played with the confidence of someone eager to retain a title. He never allowed Flemming, a German foreign exchange student, to get comfortable.
"It really feels great to go out and win it as a senior," Doyle said. "I knew I had to come out and put all the pressure on him."
Hohl and Kuck, who won the No. 2 doubles title a year ago, outdid themselves by beating Perrysburg's Jeff Kohler and Jon Eckel 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 1 doubles championship.
"We knew it would be tough, but we worked hard and we got better," Kuck said. "Having confidence and team chemistry, we pulled it through."
Hohl never stopped believing they could win another title.
"We stepped our game up a whole level this year," Hohl said. "It's really nice to go out on top as seniors. It makes you feel like all the practices and even playing matches in 40-degree weather was all worth it."
Perrysburg's Jens Lakner walked away a league champion after defeating AW's Morgan Lewis 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles championship round. Lakner went into the finals trying not to think about his loss to Lewis during the season.
"I think he can do better than he did today and I kept the ball in play," Lakner said. "The first set was pretty good for me and then in the second set I thought I kind of got into his head because I kept the ball in the field."
After two consecutive years of finishing as a league runner-up in No. 2 doubles, Southview senior Vivek Ratnam topped Maumee's Mick Fagans 6-4, 6-2 to claim the No. 3 singles crown.
"It feels good to finally go out and win," Ratnam said.
Southview's Max Zorick and Vinnie Thepsourinthone overcame a slow start against Maumee's Spencer Frankhouse and Adam Radtke to come away the No. 2 doubles title. They prevailed with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win for the title.
Doyle was representative of how the Generals approached the NLL tournament.
"I wanted to definitely do it as much for the team as for myself," Doyle said.
"Winning the individual title is only half of it."
For the tournament, AW and Perrysburg scored 42 points apiece, followed by Southview 39, Maumee 34, Rossford 13, Bowling Green 10, Northview 9 and Springfield 7.
Contact Donald Emmons at: