WARSAW – Things got a little more interesting Thursday evening during day two of the Northern Lakes Conference Boys’ Tennis Tournament.
Regular-season champion Plymouth, though, kept their from being too much drama.
The Pilgrims put themselves in prime position to win the tourney title by advancing to the championship round at all five positions at WCHS.
The host Tigers, who were third in the regular season NLC standings at 5-2, earned spots in the finals at three spots opposite Plymouth.
Plymouth entered the tourney Wednesday with the top seeds at three of the five positions. Warsaw had the No. 1 seed at No. 2 singles with Nic Jansen and Goshen, which was runner-up in the NLC regular season, had the top seed at No. 2 doubles.
Warsaw, which has won the last two NLC tournament titles, will be represented in the finals at No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles come Saturday.
Senior Sam Rice led the way for Warsaw at the top singles spot. Rice rallied Thursday to defeat Hudson Kay of Goshen 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Rice will face junior John Hunter of Plymouth in the title tilt. Hunter topped Will Boyer of Concord 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Warsaw’s Nic Jansen continued his outstanding play at No. 2 singles to earn a berth in the title match. Senior Jansen blanked Ryan Menzie of NorthWood 6-0, 6-0. Jansen will face sophomore John Gerard of the Pilgrims, who defeated Evan Beck of Goshen 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
The Tigers’ No. 2 doubles duo of sophomores Justin Stout and David Homme rallied to outlast the top-seeded Goshen team of Peter Vukovich and Zach Ganger 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) to advance to the championship match. They will play the Plymouth team of junior Braydon Davidson and sophomore Nick Felke.
Plymouth, which lost in the 3-2 to Warsaw in the regional final in 2013, beat Warsaw head-to-head on a pair of courts Thursday to gain the upper hand.
Junior Nate Knapp of the Pilgrims topped Warsaw senior Caleb Ray 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. Knapp will face Luke Rush of Goshen in the title match, while Ray will play for third place on Saturday.
The Plymouth top doubles team of seniors Ryan Johnson and Max Holloway beat junior Christopher Herendeen and senior Cole Baker 6-3, 6-4. They will face the NorthWood team of Quinn Stillson and Caleb Yoder in the finals, while Herendeen and Baker will play for third place.
Junior Cal Heinisch was the lone Wawasee player to pick up a win Thursday. Heinisch beat Simon Grevengoed of Northridge 7-5, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to earn a spot in the fifth place match.
Senior Todd Hauser of the Warriors lost to Landon Arnold of Northridge 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Sophomore Nate Perke dropped a 6-1, 6-2 final to Riley Huffer of Concord at No. 2 singles.
The Wawasee No. 1 doubles team of senior Jake Hutchinson and sophomore Nate Haines lost to the Concord team of Aaron Allen and Nathan Hermon 6-1, 6-4. The No. 2 doubles pair of seniors Braydon Fretz and Leonard Kline lost to James Dugle and Adarsh Patel of Northridge 6-0, 6-3.
The final round of play is slated for Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at Northridge High School.