Friday, September 22, 2023

Orange sweeps Division II state titles

COLUMBUS–Orange’s postseason dominance continued on Saturday at the Division II state tournament at the Ty Tucker Tennis Center on Ohio State University’s campus.

The Lions, who opened the postseason by sweeping the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament, and then cruised through the sectional and district tournaments, swept the singles and doubles tournaments on the biggest stage.

Senior Ben Pomeranets defended the state title he won last season by finishing the tournament 4-0.

He opened the tournament on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Indian Hill’s R.J. Poffenberger and then advanced to Friday’s semifinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over teammate Krish Mehra.

On Friday, Pomeranets defeated Seven Hills senior Cole Cozens, 6-1, 6-0.

He closed out his third state tournament with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Seven Hills’ Avi Mahajan, 6-0, 6-3.

Pomeranets closed out his Orange career as a two-time state champion and one-time state runner-up.

Orange juniors Chika Nwaozuzu and Gabi Kalir made the most of their tournament run by claiming the Division II doubles title.

They opened the tournament on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Country Day’s Nikhil Shah and Christian Sprinkle, and then topped Lexington’s Jake Chilcote and Owan Gongwer, 6-1, 6-3.

In Friday’s semifinals, the dynamic duo topped Columbus Academy’s Rowen Lo (10) / Nason Lo, 6-3, 6-1.

A 6-1, 6-1 win over Oakwood’s Arick Baldwin and Noah Boyce secured their state championship.

Kalir finished last season as the state runner-up in doubles competition while Nwaozuzu placed third in singles play.

The Lions will play for the Ohio Tennis Coaches’ Association state team title on Sunday.


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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