New class, no problem.
After winning the Class B team title last October, Lincoln Pius X moved all four of its entries Thursday into the Class A semifinals to lead the team race after the state meet’s opening day.
Pius has 36 points, followed by Lincoln Southwest with 34 and Omaha Creighton Prep with 32 — both have three semifinalists. Defending champion Millard North is fourth with 28.
Pius returned five of its six starters from last season.
“It’s definitely a little harder because there’s more top dogs here,” said No. 1 singles player Mason Warner, who added that he’s glad the Thunderbolts are in Class A this year. “It gives us something to look forward to, to up our game.”
Warner defeated Elkhorn’s Zach Kuo in last year’s Class B final. On Thursday, both reached the semifinal in Class A. Warner will face Southwest’s Joe Harris and Kuo plays defending champ Ethan Neil of Papillion-La Vista.
Warner and Harris split a pair of close matches during the regular season. Neil and Kuo will meet for the first time this fall. Warner was the only player this season to beat Harris and Neil.
“I just got to play my game, stick to the things I’ve been working on this season. Stay consistent,” Warner said.
Kuo reached the semifinal with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fourth-seeded Garret Starman of Millard North. Kuo got a break of serve in the final game of both sets.
Kuo said the match wasn’t a thing of beauty, but he persevered in windy conditions and against an opponent who played in the Metro tournament final last week.
“Both of us could have played better, but this wind made it difficult. Garret hits the ball so flat, it’s hard to time everything,” Kuo said. “It was really frustrating, so just staying calm and focusing (were key).”
The top four seeds advanced at No. 1 doubles. Creighton Prep’s Andrew Doehner and Mac Nelson had the most difficult path to the semifinal, winning a third-set tiebreaker 10-5 after winning the first set in a tiebreaker over Elkhorn South’s Michael Day and Max Jordan.
At No. 2 doubles, Millard North’s Ruthvick Kasireddy and Jonathon Sabirianov advanced to the semis after winning two third-set tiebreakers. They first edged Lincoln Southeast 11-9 in the second round before downing third-seeded Lincoln East 10-8 in the quarterfinal.
Friday’s semifinals at Koch Tennis Center will start at 9 a.m. with the finals at 1 p.m.
Team scoring: Lincoln Pius X 36, Lincoln Southwest 34, Omaha Creighton Prep 32, Millard North 28, Lincoln East 20, Lincoln Southeast 20, Elkhorn 18, Elkhorn South 18, Kearney 18, Millard West 18, Papillion-La Vista 18, Papio South 14, Omaha Westside 12, Lincoln North Star 10, Bellevue West 8, Fremont 8, Bellevue East 6, Lincoln High 4, Millard South 4, Omaha Northwest 4, Gretna 2, Norfolk 2, Omaha Central 2, Columbus 0, Grand Island 0, Lincoln Northeast 0, North Platte 0, Omaha Benson 0, Omaha Bryan 0, Omaha Burke 0, Omaha North 0, Omaha South 0, South Sioux City 0.
No. 1 singles: Ethan Neil, PL, def. Kenton Young, MW, 6-0, 6-1. Zach Kuo, Elk, def. Garret Starman, MN, 6-4, 6-4. Joe Harris, LSW, won by default over Alex Bigsby, Fremont. Mason Warner, LPX, def. Nathan Ramachandran, CP, 6-2, 6-1. No. 2 singles: Will Ulrich, LPX, def. Joseph Kirshenbaum, ES, 6-0, 6-2. Jalan Zhu, MN, def. Blake Benson, LSW, 6-1, 6-2. Josh Rosenblatt, Westside, def. Jacob Whiston, LE, 6-2, 6-3. Gavin Forster, CP, def. Cooper Wesslund, LNS, 6-0, 6-0. No. 1 doubles: Nick O’Shea/Grady Works, LSW, def. Neal Agarwal/Allan Muinov, MN, 6-0, 6-2. Graham Peterson/Grey Gergen, LSE, def. Kirby Le/Jake Sundquist, LE, 6-2, 6-3. Andrew Doehner/Mac Nelson, CP, def. Max Jordan/Michael Day, ES, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 10-5. Will Olson/Joseph Plachy, LPX, def. Ryan Mahalek/Sam Rademacher, Kearney, 6-2, 6-0. No. 2 doubles: Daniel Kowal/Josh Morales, CP, def. Charles Brockmeier/Carson Elstermier, Kearney, 7-6 (3), 6-1. Thomas O’Donnell/Jase Woita, LPX, def. Daniel Brocaille/Nolan Ray, PS, 6-4, 6-2. Ruthvick Kasireddy/Jonathon Sabirianov, MN, def. Reese McReynolds/Josiah Thacker, LE, 2-6, 7-5, 10-8. Sam Johnson/Jacob Balfany, LSW, def. Tanner Klahn/Fletcher Kuper, MW, 6-2, 6-0.
Mount Michael, Skutt tied
LINCOLN — Elkhorn Mount Michael and Omaha Skutt both moved all four of their entries into the semifinals at the Class B meet.
Mount Michael, which has top-four seeds in all four divisions, is looking its first team title since 2015.
Skutt won some tight quarterfinals to put itself in position at the top of the leaderboard.
At No. 1 singles, Connor Barrett upset second-seeded Zion Moyer of McCook 7-5, 7-5; at No. 2 singles, Christian Norris won a third-set tiebreaker over Brayden Schram of Hastings; and at No. 1 doubles, Asher Kula and Robert Seaton outlasted fourth-seeded Kearney Catholic 11-9 in the third-set tiebreaker after winning the first set in a tiebreaker.
Grand Island Central Catholic, which has the top seeds at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles, has three entries in the semifinals.
Team scoring: Elkhorn Mount Michael 36, Omaha Skutt 36, York 34, GICC 32, McCook 22, Hastings 16, Kearney Catholic 14, Omaha Gross 12, Waverly 12, Alliance 10, Lexington 10, Lincoln Christian 10, Ralston 10, Beatrice 8, Omaha Roncalli 8, Adams Central 6, Gering 4, Holdrege 4, Nebraska City 4, Brownell Talbot/Concordia 4, Scottsbluff 0.
No. 1 singles: Isaac Gart, EMM, def. Landon Power, Hastings, 6-0, 6-0. Eli Fox, GICC, def. Gavin Cismoski, OR, 6-2, 6-1. Ty Schneider, Y, def. Hogan Wingrove, Wav, 7-6 (5), 6-1. Connor Barrett, OS, def. Zion Moyer, Mc, 7-5, 7-5. No. 2 singles: Daniel Martinez Rey, GICC, def. Nathan Sughroue, AC, 6-0, 6-0. William Mallisee, EMM, def. Hunter Walker, Gering, 6-1, 6-1. Christian Norris, OS, def. Brayden Schram, Hastings, 4-6, 6-3, 10-4. Mason Michaelis, Mc, def. Andrew Hammer, Y, 6-2, 6-0. No. 1 doubles: Hayden Royal/Hunter Royal, Y, def. Chance Crowe/Devin Garcia, All, 6-0, 6-3. Asher Kula/Robert Seaton, OS, def. Brandt Groskreutz/Blake Thiele, KC, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 11-9. Logan Barenberg/Isaac Hinze, Mc, def. Matthew Neville/Kaleb Holm, Ral, 6-1, 7-5. Peyton Rosenfels/Ethan Pentel, EMM, def. Jackson Farias/Jonathan Schardt, GICC, 6-0, 6-1. No. 2 doubles: Jacob McNamara/Jack Friesen, GICC, def. Cade Kluthe/Kade Schrock, KC, 6-3, 6-2. Alex Payne/Jose Castillo, EMM, def. Adynn Kusek/Jose Narezi, Hastings, 6-3, 7-5. Justice Hanmer/Gavin Brummund, OS, def. Dawson Saathoff/Zack Zimmerman, B, 6-1. 6-1. John Esser/Matt Mittman, Y, def. Eli Young/Damian Salinas, Lex, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.