The Miami Trace tennis team is experiencing a resurgence under first-year head coach Mitch Augenstein.
After completing one of their more competitive seasons in a few years, the Panthers are sending a doubles team out of the Sectional and on to the District tournament.
The Sectional was held Monday and Tuesday in Portsmouth.
Junior Seth Leach and sophomore Matt Fender, the number one and two singles players, respectively, for the Panthers, were paired as a doubles team with winning results.
Leach and Fender have advanced to the District tournament which is set for Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. at Ohio University in Athens. Two qualifiers from the District will advance to the State tournament.
Leach and Fender had a bye in the first round at the Sectional.
Their first match was against a junior and senior pair from Waverly.
Leach and Fender won this match, 6-4, 6-4.
In their next match, the Miami Trace duo faced Jackson’s first doubles team (a senior and a junior).
The Panther pair won this match, 6-2, 7-5.
That win placed them in the Elite 8, according to Augenstine, where they automatically qualified for the District meet.
The above action took place on Monday.
Then on Tuesday, Leach and Fender continued play for seeding purposes.
They lost their first match against Portsmouth West’s first doubles team (two seniors), 4-6, 5-7.
After that, Leach and Fender fought back and won the next two matches; first against Portsmouth, 6-2, 6-0 and then against the No. 2 seed going into the Sectional, Wheelersburg, 6-0, 6-3.
The Panther doubles team will go into Districts as the overall No. 5 seed.
At first singles, Ely Schirtzinger (10) advanced to the second round past Unioto 6-0, 6-0, later falling to a freshman from Waverly with a 1-6, 0-6 loss.
At second singles, Todd Peterson (11) lost in the first round to a senior opponent from Circleville, 1-6, 1-6.
At third singles, Riley Evans (12) had a hard-fought match that he lost in the first round to Circleville (10) 5-7, 6-4, 3-6.
At second doubles, Adam Ginn (10) and Drew Stanforth (10) won their first round match against Notre Dame’s second doubles senior and junior pair, 6-3, 7-5.
In the second round, they ended up falling to two seniors from Porstmouth West, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6.
“I am so proud of all that they have learned and improved upon,” Augenstein said.