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Henry Lao, sophomore, is the team’s No. 2 player and teams up with No. 1 player Sam Mkrtychev for doubles.
Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 3, 2011 7 years ago

Pirates tennis bring depth to 2011

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by: Andrew OBrien Contributing Writer

The Matanzas High School Pirates boys tennis team took third place as a team in the district tournament last season.

The Matanzas Pirates tennis team is led by fifth-year coach Rich Cottingham this season.

Last season, the Pirates finished 11-3 and took third place as a team in the district tournament. This year, Cottingham hopes that will change.

So far this season, the Pirates are 4-2, and the team’s top four players all have realistic shots to win their respective district championships, Cottingham said.

No. 1 player Sam Mkrtychev lost in the semifinals in the district tournament last season. He has already signed to play tennis next year at Flagler College. Cottingham believes Mkrtychev has a realistic shot at winning the No. 1 singles title at districts and earning a state playoff berth.

Sophomore Henry Lao plays the No. 2 spot. Lao won the district title for his spot on the team last season and is hoping for a repeat performance this season.

Nick Petrillo is a freshman this season, but boasts USTA tournament experience, Cottingham said, and should be a contender at the No. 3 spot at districts.

Mkrtychev and Lao team up as a dominant doubles team, which reached the semifinals of last season’s state tournament.

Adam Hoke and Kevin Brady round out the five players. Hoke is a home-schooled junior.

When asked what this team’s strength are compared to last season’s team, Cottingham replied: “We have a lot more depth this year. We are a lot better than we were last year.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Sam Mkrtychev, Sr.: Lost in the semifinals of the district tournament last season. Recently signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Division II Flagler College.

Henry Lao
, Soph.: Won the district tournament as No. 2 singles last season as a freshman. Returns as a sophomore looking for a repeat of last season’s success.

Nick Petrillo, Fr.: Incoming freshman with a ton of USTA tournament experience. Likely will contend for a district title at the No. 3 spot.

 

To preview Mantanzas girls tennis, click here.

To preview FPC boys tennis, click here.

To preview FPC girls tennis, click here.


 

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