The Columbus East boys tennis team took the first step toward capturing a sectional crown on Wednesday afternoon as they defeated Edinburgh 5-0 in straight sets to advance to the semifinals of the Columbus North Sectional.
The Olympians (12-4) will get another chance at playing their crosstown rivals in North at 4:30 p.m. today. The Bull Dogs won the teams’ regular-season match 3-2.
East picked up the first point of the match at No. 2 singles, where JoJo Woolwine defeated Colton Henderson 6-0, 6-0.
Alex Galle, who played No. 1 for the Olympians, captured their second point with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Kyle Pendleton. Galle closed out his match with an ace to secure the straight-set sweep.
“The main goal was to play comfortable out there,” Galle said. “Also, wanted to make sure all parts of our game was going right, like hitting balls deep. I think it went well.
“It is just a good time to work on things that we want to work on and have a good time doing it,” he said. “In our next match, we just want to stay confident and stick to our game plan.”
East’s third win came at No. 2 doubles, where Daniel Kuhlman and Austin Guse won 6-0, 6-1 against Dalton Bieker and Parker Bryant. The point the Olympian duo gave up in the second set was the only point the Lancers would get.
East’s No. 1 doubles team of Matt Furnish and Sammy Woolwine scored a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Anthony Weber and Kinser Bryant. The Olympians closed out the match with Neeraj Pandita defeating Gavin Hancock 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.
East coach Jim Stone was happy the way his team played.
“They did well, but the wind was bad, so that was a bigger competition just beating up on the wind,” Stone said. “Hopefully, they will be ready to play (today). They did a good job of doing things we have been working on, and I was pretty pleased with how they played.”
In the matchup with North, Stone thinks confidence will be a big factor.
“It will determine on how confident they are today,” he said. “It was pretty close the first time we played, and two of the matches went three sets and we lost both of them. There are a lot of head games going on.”
The Lancers ended their season with six wins, the most they have had in several years. Coach Pete Khensouri was pleased with how his team handled themselves Wednesday.
“I just told the boys to play the best they can,” Khensouri said. “I am so proud of my kids, and they improved so much from when we started in August.
“They came a long way, and look at our record with more wins this year than the previous years,” he said. “Each one of these kids played hard and worked hard throughout the season. Columbus East is a tough team and has a good coaching staff.”