AKRON — Nathan and Isaac Palinkas have extended their season one more week.
The Geneva sophomores advanced to the Division II doubles district tournament semifinals with two wins at Springside Racquet & Fitness Club in Akron on Friday.
The wins qualied them to the state tournament, which is scheduled to take place May 26-27 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
The Palinkas’, who were fourth at the Hawken sectional last week, opened the district with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ursuline’s Austin Arfaras and Luke Tsudis. They won the Boardman sectional last week.
The Palinkas’ then took down Beachwood’s Lance Cohen and Jack Zhang, who placed second at the Rocky River sectional, 7-6, 6-2 to punch their ticket for state.
In the semifinals starting at 8:30 a.m. today, the Palinkas’ will face the Hawken duo of Michael Lee and Josef Horwatch. The matches today are for state tournament seeding.
“We looked at the draw and knew we could play with any of the teams in our bracket,” Eagles coach Alex Stuetzer said. “The boys played hard.”
The Palinkas’ were Geneva’s top two singles players all season, but Stuetzer said the plan was for them to play doubles in the postseason tournament.
“We had prepared for that early so the players could get used it,” he said.
Stuetzer is not only the Palinkas’ coach, but their grandfather as well.
“Isaac, a lefty, that’s a little different look and an advantate,” Stuetzer said. “He’s good at ground strokes and becoming good in volleys. Nathan is a real good server and good with volleys. They work hard and we get a lot of help from the area.”
The four doubles teams are from the Hawken sectional with other two being Hawken’s Stephanie Shulman and Sauren Kholsa and Orange’s Santiago Bustamante and Rahul Krishnan.
“They have nothing to lose,” Stuetzer said of the Palinkas’. “It’s a team they’ve already played (in the semifinals). They’ll go out and play hard.”
In singles, St. John senior Tony Massucci opened with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Warren John F. Kennedy’s Armand Nannicola, then dropped a 6-0, 6-1 decision to Norton senior Justin Csepe to end his season.
“Tony had a tremendous season,” Heralds coach Todd Nassief said. “He hasn’t played a lot of tennis and is starting to become a tennis player. He’s on a good trajectory going up.”
And Conneaut senior Adam Laitinen lost to Bay senior Adam Krueger 6-2, 6-1 in the first round.