With a first-round bye and sitting all the way at the end of the schedule, Tecumseh High School seniors Christian Hunt and Scot Sinkhorn waited four hours for their first Division I sectional tournament tennis match.
It was worth it.
Two matches and two wins later, the Arrows teammates claimed a coveted spot in next week’s Division I district tournament in Mason. Hunt and Sinkhorn, seeded No. 2 in the sectional, rolled into the semifinals with a pair of straight set wins.
Tecumseh beat Bellefontaine 6-1, 6-0 in the second round and knocked off Trotwood-Madison 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at Troy High School. The Arrows return to Troy, this time at Troy Community Park, for Saturday’s sectional semifinals and championship matches to determine seeding for the district tournament.
“It feels really good. It was my goal for the year,” said Hunt, who returned to the team for his senior season after deciding not to play last year. “That’s pretty much all I wanted to accomplish. This is bonus time. We’re trying to get the first or second seed so we have a better chance at district.”
Tecumseh plays Troy’s third-seeded team of junior Sean Dippold and sophomore Noah George. Troy knocked off Springfield senior Marshall Grooms and junior Dhruv Mistry 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 to reach the semis.
“At first I didn’t think we were that good. But I never had any doubts we couldn’t make it here,” Sinkhorn said of needing time to gel as a doubles team. “I’d say after the first couple of games we got our mojo back. Once we got the nerves out. That’s one thing I think everything every tennis player has is nerves. It’s a mental game.”
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“The season started out pretty rough,” added Hunt. “But we’ve become really good friends. Our play together has gotten really good.”
Hunt and Sinkhorn present a unique challenge to opponents. Both players are left-handed. That can put a different spin the ball that most players are used to from righties. Sinkhorn’s serve pushes 80 mph. Hunt’s hits 90 mph.
They’ll need another strong effort Saturday to claim that No. 1 seed for district. Coming in the sectional tournament as the No. 2 seed has helped, so far.
“I was really happy about the second seed.” Sinkhorn said. “I wasn’t nervous about it. I was like, okay this makes it easier to make it to districts. It’s an amazing feeling. For my last year, I’ve dreamed of this since my freshman year.
“I’m really excited to play on the good courts. I don’t plan on going too far but I’m not going to lose any of my mojo and not play my best game. If we win it’s because we played our best game.”
Springfield junior Ethan Cundiff reached the quarterfinals, one win from qualifying for district, before falling 6-3, 6-3 to No. 3 seed Matthew Correll, a sophomore from Northmont
Tecumseh junior Jacob Lewis also reached the quarterfinals. He lost to Sidney freshman Grant Hoying 6-4, 6-2, the No. 4 seed.
Sectional semifinal and championship matches are 9 a.m. Saturday at Troy’s Community Park.