Republic’s last remaining tennis playoff participants ended their run with a loss in the state sectionals Tuesday. Isaac Jordan and Will Berry lost 6-1, 6-3 to Matthew Zengel and Jackson Arbeitman of Kickapoo at Gillenwaters Tennis Center in Springfield.
Zengel and Arbeitman used strong serves and solid baseline play to take control early, winning the first set easily. Berry and Jordan had an opening in the second set after falling into a big hole at 5-1. They won two straight games and had multiple game points to cut the Kickapoo lead to 5-4, but couldn’t finish. From there, Kickapoo’s duo closed out the match.
Republic finished its team season at 12-5 overall. The JV team was 10-1. The Tigers won the Mount Vernon Tournament without a loss, finished second at their home tournament, and won the Republic JV Tournament.
This is the fifth straight year that the Tigers finished first or second in district play as a team, and its the fifth straight year a singles player or doubles team has qualified for sectionals. The Tigers don’t lose any seniors to graduation.
“We expect multiple guys from the JV to work hard this summer to create competition for spots and overall raise our level of play heading into next spring,” said coach Dan Vales. “Coach [David] Smashey and I are excited about the future for the boys team.”