A second-place finish at its home invitational wasn’t cause for disappointment for the Grand Island Central Catholic boys tennis team on Friday.
The Crusaders had 12 points to champion York’s 16. The Dukes swept the No. 1 divisions while Central Catholic took both No. 2 categories.
“I knew that York’s very talented,” GICC coach James Lowry said. “I would say them and Mount Michael are the favorites going into state. There’s some others like McCook that could sneak in there, but on paper I would say it’s Mount Michael and York.
“For us to split with (York) today and for us to get them in both No. 2s, that’s pretty good. Ones, we got beat in both of them, but it was about what I expected. I was really happy with both of our No. 2s today. That was big wins for them.”
Daniel Martinez only dropped a total of three games over his three wins to take first at No. 2 singles.
“Daniel is undefeated at No. 2 singles on the year heading into the homestretch, which is impressive,” Lowry said.
The No. 2 doubles team of Jacob McNamara and Jack Friesen saw their closest win come 8-4 against York.
“No. 2 doubles just keep improving and believe in it,” Lowry said. “They play smart tennis and don’t play outside themselves. They don’t go down the line when you shouldn’t. They hit it in and go to the net to try to win. They play doubles the right way, and I like that.”
Eli Fox finished second at No. 1 singles with his lone loss to York’s Ty Schneider.
“Eli is playing well right now at No. 1 singles,” Lowry said.
The No. 1 doubles team of Jackson Farias and Jonathan Schardt went 1-2, beating Waverly but losing to Kearney Catholic and York.
“No. 1 doubles have played most of their matches against who I feel will be top five seeds at state,” Lowry said.
“Their record doesn’t look great, but they’re definitely playing quality competition all the time. They just have to believe and stick with the process.”
The invite came with three weeks left in the season.
“We still have work to do, and in three weeks that’s hard to get done,” Lowry said. “That’s why a lot of our kids put in time over the summer, which allows them to do good things.”