Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Sidelines: Third time's no charm for Jaara


Eyad Jaara of Maumee Valley Country Day had won first-round matches in 2007 and 2009 in state singles play and was hoping to finally reach the second day of Division II competition.


The luck of the draw may have had more to do with Eyad Jaara's state tournament fate than anything else this year as the Maumee Valley Country Day School senior was knocked out in the Division II state quarterfinals for the third time in his career.

Jaara, the top local singles player in either division, had won first-round matches in state singles play in 2007 and 2009, and was hoping to finally at least reach the second day of D-II competition in Columbus. But after beating Dayton Chaminade's Andrew Bole 7-6, 6-4 in the opening round, Jaara fell to Columbus Watterson junior Chris Diaz 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Diaz was the eventual D-II state singles champion.

Jaara's teammates, the doubles duo of junior Christian Fesko and Stephen Shin, also lost to the eventual D-II champions in the semifinals. They ended up in fourth place at Ohio State University's Stickney Tennis Center on May 29.

The top local finish at state was produced by juniors Evan Bechtel and Ryan Jorgensen of St. John's Jesuit, who put away their singles' aspirations at the end of the regular season to take a stab at the state doubles bracket. Their strategy resulted in an advancement to the D-I state semifinals, where they lost to a team from New Albany 6-3, 6-4. The Bechtel-Jorgensen team then regrouped to take the third-place match, beating a team from Dublin Jerome 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Bechtel and Jorgensen were City League champions at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively, as St. John's won its sixth consecutive CL team title. The Titans also were state runners-up in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team tournament, which concluded May 30 at the Stickney Center. St. John's topped Massillon Jackson in the semifinal before falling to Upper Arlington 3-2 in the state final.

Jeffery Schorsch, a freshman singles standout from Perrysburg, led the Jackets to the Northern Lakes league team title with his victory at No. 1 singles, and also advanced to the D-I state tournament before losing his first-round match.

- Steve Junga

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