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Lincoln Pius X used No. 1 and No. 2 singles titles to claim the Class B tennis title Friday at Woods Tennis Center, the 13th team championship in program history.

“Our guys really took care of business,” Pius X coach Nolan DeWispelare said. “They were focused. They were loose and they did what they needed to do.”

The Thunderbolts and Elkhorn South had finished in the top two the previous two years, and nothing changed at this year’s competition.

The teams were tied at 36 points apiece heading into Friday and in virtually the same position.

Elkhorn South put both of its doubles teams — No. 1 Jonathan and Ben Fink, and No. 2 Seth Fink and Michael Day — in the finals.

Pius X had two finalists as well, Mason Warner in No. 1 singles and Will Ulrich in No. 2 singles.

Warner and Ulrich both finished the job for the Thunderbolts, with Warner claiming his second singles title after winning the Class B No. 2 singles championship last year.

“I was just thinking to stay relaxed and not let the nerves get the best of me,” Warner said. “It feels pretty nice, because I guess going from No. 2 singles to No. 1 is a pretty big jump.”

Warner took down Elkhorn’s Zach Kuo in the No. 1 singles final. He controlled the baseline for the majority of the match, and he said that was a big part of Warner's victory.

“I was trying to finish out points at the net, but Zach is such a good rallier that he kept me deep,” Warner said. “So I had to try and beat him back there.”

Lincoln Pius X clinched its state championship when Joseph Plachy and Will Olson, who suffered a broken tibia this summer and came back for the tennis season, took third place in the No. 1 doubles tournament. The Thunderbolts ended up winning the team title by 4½ points over Elkhorn South 48½-44.

“We knew it could come down to a point, or even a fraction of a point,” DeWispelare said. “So we had to take every match and every game.”

York also jumped in on the action, as its No. 1 doubles team of Luca Struffi and Bradyn Heiss took another state title from Elkhorn South.

The Dukes knocked off the Finks in the state final behind Struffi’s big serve. Struffi is a foreign exchange student from Italy.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to play tennis, but then I started with the team and started to play doubles with (Heiss) and I was happy with it and we just kept training,” Struffi said after the state final match.

York finished fourth with 32 team points.


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