Saturday at the Division II sectional tennis tournament was quite an experience for Jefferson sophomore Zach Mucci. It showed he and coach Lou Murphy what he needs is more experience.
Mucci had already qualified for the district tournament Wednesday at Canton’s Weis Courts off his play at Brush High School sectional, but he played Saturday to try and put himself in better position for success in Canton.
It didn’t work out that way. With the action forced inside at the Mayfield Village Racquet Club by rain, he lost to Field’s Brad Losey, 6-3, 6-1, and Sam Ubersax of Orange, 6-0, 6-1, to finish fourth, but he and his coach found out he’s not that far away from being able to play with the best.
“I learned a lot about how people play,” Mucci said. “I found out how people are going to hit the ball at me. It was definitely worth it.
“I’m excited for district. No matter what happens, though, I’m glad I made it this far.”
Murphy was pleased with how Mucci stood up against Saturday’s opponents.
“Zach played very well. He hit the ball hard,” the coach said. “He played some really good players and probably played some of his best tennis of the tournament.
“The only added ingredient he needs is experience that he can gain from playing in summer tournaments. Zach has the energy and the strokes. The only thing he needs to play at a high level is playing in USTA tournaments in the summer.”
Mucci felt he struggled in his first match, but played better as the day progressed.
“I felt I played really well in my second match,” he said. “My first match wasn’t so good.”
Saturday’s action was a voyage of self discovery for Mucci.
“When he walked off the court, Zach said he felt the players he faced weren’t that much better and I agreed,” Murphy said. “Ubersax was one of the top 10 players in the state in Division II last year. Zach realizes he has to get more experience.”
“It’s really nice that I’m only a sophomore,” Mucci said.