8 locals advance to state tennis

AKRON — Alex and Anthony Payiavlas needed one win on Saturday to make the Division I boys tennis state tournament.

The Warren G. Harding High School brother doubles team not only won one match, but two to head to Mason for the first time for both players.

The Payiavlas brothers beat Massillon Jackson’s Michael Stefan and Arjun Shanmugan, 6-4, 6-1, and then beat St. Ignatius’ Jack McNally and Kai Vesikillo, 7-6, 6-3 in the fifth-place match. The Harding duo has a fifth seed for state play, which begins Friday at the Linder Family Tennis Center with the first two rounds. The semifinals and finals are scheduled the next day.

Alex, a senior, made it to last year’s district as a singles player, but lost in a first-round match. Anthony is a freshman.

Ursuline’s five qualifiers and John F. Kennedy junior Armand Nannicola played for seeding for the Division II state tournament.

The Irish’s senior doubles team of Austin Arfaras and Luke Tsudis beat Hawken’s Neil Tewari and Gabe Perla, 6-3, 7-5, and Geneva’s Isaac and Nathan Palinkas, 6-2, 7-5, to win the district title.

Ursuline junior Greg Morgione beat Chagrin Falls’ Jackson Quinn, 6-1, 6-0, but couldn’t beat his teammate, Andrew Zimcosky, losing 6-3, 6-2, in the district singles final dto earn a second seed for state.

Nannicola, a junior, lost to Zimcosky, 6-1, 6-1, and Quinn, 6-4, 7-5, in the third-place match for a fourth seed at state.

Ursuline’s doubles team of Gavin Blacksher and Josh Khavari lost to Geneva’s Palinkas’s, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1, but beat Hawken’s Tewari and Perla, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, in the third-place match to earn a three seed for state.