From rookies to winners


Xenia tennis players enjoying senior success

By John Bombatch - [email protected]



Kenneth Klontz lost on April 18 against Stebbins’ Connor Schock, but he’s been Xenia’s No. 1 singles player all season.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Zane Cukovecki’s season record is now at 6-6 overall and 5-2 in GWOC action after his April 18 straight-set win at third singles.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

The gigantic afro is missed from a season ago, but Dorien Morris’ solid play at No. 2 singles remains just as solid this season.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Spencer Titus returns a forehand to his Riverside Stebbins opponents, April 18, at the Greene County Fairgrounds tennis courts in Xenia. Titus and his No. 2 doubles partner Aaron Harrison claimed a straight-set win.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Michael Graham looks on as first doubles partner Chris Brodsky fends off a deep volley, April 18, in a match against Stebbins.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

XENIA — Xenia boys tennis coach Steve Cukovecki almost teared up when he was asked to tell just how special this year’s senior dominated team was to him.

He’s coached the seven seniors since they were freshmen rookies unsure of how to hold a racket. Now the seven Buccaneers are holding their own on a tennis court.

“It’s been like night and day. They’ve vastly improved since I’d first started coaching them,” Cukovecki said. “Most of these guys had never even picked up a racket before, before their freshman year. And they come from all different sports. I’ve got football players out here, and swimmers, and golfers.

“When March came along, some of the guys could barely hit the ball over the net, while others couldn’t keep the ball from going over the fence. … And now these kids are out there holding their own against the best kids in the (Greater Western Ohio Conference). A lot of other teams and coaches are noticing how well they’re doing.

“I’m proud of them.”

In Tuesday’s April 18 matches against GWOC American East foe Riverside Stebbins, the Buccaneers won the match by a 4-1 tally. Xenia is now 4-8 overall and will play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday April 19 at Lebanon.

While Kenneth Klontz fell 6-2, 6-3 to Stebbins’ Connor Schock, Dorien Morris won at second singles (6-1, 6-0 over Tyler Harris), Zane Cukovecki defeated Kyle Kleschka 6-1, 6-1 to take two out of the three singles matches.

At doubles, the Bucs’ Chris Brodsky and Michael Graham duo claimed a 6-0, 6-1 win over Stebbins’ Rily Timbrook and Brandon Osborne at first doubles. The second doubles tandem of Spencer Titus-Aaron Harrison won in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 over the Indians’ Milan Mijatov-Iven and Jalen Willis.

Stebbins coach Andrew Kiger last saw the Xenia players two years ago when his Indians had claimed a 3-2 win in Riverside. The two teams’ match, and subsequent re-scheduling of the initial rained out contest, were both rained out last season. So after almost a two-year absence, Kiger was able to notice the marked improvement in the Xenia players’ abilities.

“We beat them back then, but yeah, I see big time improvement in how they play now,” Kiger said. “I knew they had a few guys coming back, but there’s no doubt about it, they’ve improved dramatically.”

With Tuesday’s win, Xenia sits atop the evenly contested GWOC American South division with a 3-3 record.

Stebbins (3-7, 1-6 GWOC American South) is back in action Wednesday, April 19 with a home match with Clayton Northmont.

Kenneth Klontz lost on April 18 against Stebbins’ Connor Schock, but he’s been Xenia’s No. 1 singles player all season.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_Klontz_PS.jpgKenneth Klontz lost on April 18 against Stebbins’ Connor Schock, but he’s been Xenia’s No. 1 singles player all season. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Zane Cukovecki’s season record is now at 6-6 overall and 5-2 in GWOC action after his April 18 straight-set win at third singles.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_Cukovecki_PS.jpgZane Cukovecki’s season record is now at 6-6 overall and 5-2 in GWOC action after his April 18 straight-set win at third singles. John Bombatch | Greene County News

The gigantic afro is missed from a season ago, but Dorien Morris’ solid play at No. 2 singles remains just as solid this season.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_DorienMorris_PS.jpgThe gigantic afro is missed from a season ago, but Dorien Morris’ solid play at No. 2 singles remains just as solid this season. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Spencer Titus returns a forehand to his Riverside Stebbins opponents, April 18, at the Greene County Fairgrounds tennis courts in Xenia. Titus and his No. 2 doubles partner Aaron Harrison claimed a straight-set win.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_SpencerTitus_PS.jpgSpencer Titus returns a forehand to his Riverside Stebbins opponents, April 18, at the Greene County Fairgrounds tennis courts in Xenia. Titus and his No. 2 doubles partner Aaron Harrison claimed a straight-set win. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Michael Graham looks on as first doubles partner Chris Brodsky fends off a deep volley, April 18, in a match against Stebbins.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_MichaelGrahamChrisBrodsky_PS.jpgMichael Graham looks on as first doubles partner Chris Brodsky fends off a deep volley, April 18, in a match against Stebbins. John Bombatch | Greene County News
Xenia tennis players enjoying senior success

By John Bombatch

[email protected]

You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.

You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.

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