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CEDAR RAPIDS — Rami Scheetz and Ty Sherman have officially found their championship formula as a doubles tennis tandem.
With Scheetz providing the aggression and Sherman delivering consistency, the Cedar Rapids Washington sophomores are proving to be a formidable obstacle to anyone in their way.
Scheetz and Sherman announced themselves as legitimate state title contenders by dispatching defending state runners-up Cole Schneider and Jack Wenzel of Iowa City West, 6-4, 7-5, and won a Class 2A boys’ tennis district doubles championship Thursday at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center.
“We feed off each other’s energy and that is usually what gets us to win matches,” Scheetz said. “What we did differently last year, we tried to do too much with every match. We didn’t let the competitors come to us. We tried to take it to them every time. Now they’re starting to come to us.”
Scheetz and Sherman, doubles partners since junior-level tennis, both possess excellent volleys and have a style that effectively complements the other. The combination should earn them a high seed at the state meet.
“We’ve kind of fit into our roles a little bit nicer,” Sherman said. “We’ve kind of accepted that and we’re just trying to play our own role.”
Top-ranked Iowa City West (25 points) claimed the district team title by a point over the second-ranked Warriors when two-time defending singles state champion Jiung Jung — now a four-time singles state qualifier — avenged a May 3 loss and rallied past defending state runner-up and No. 1 seed Joe Hoff of Iowa City High, 3-6, 7-5, 2-0. Hoff injury defaulted due to cramping in the decisive third set.
“I’m not sure I’d say we won the district, I’d say we survived the district,” West Coach Mitch Gross said. “It was intense, no doubt about it. I think everybody here is both physically and mentally exhausted.”
The Trojans earned a bye into the team substate competition May 20, while second-ranked Washington will host Kennedy in the preliminary substate round Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center.
With a runner-up district finish, both Hoff and the doubles team of Schneider and Wenzel qualify for the individual state tournament, but are not eligible to be seeded among the top four. Hoff qualified after a 6-0, 6-1 victory over two-time singles state qualifier Parker Muller of Washington in the semifinal. Schneider and Wenzel eliminated Washington’s Will Rizer and Ethan Wickham in their semifinal, 6-1, 6-0, and claimed a state berth for the second year in a row.
The boys’ tennis individual state tournament begins May 27 at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center.
CLASS 2A BOYS’ TENNIS DISTRICT MEET
At Veterans Memorial Tennis Center
Teams — 1. Iowa City West 25; 2. Cedar Rapids Washington 24; 3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 8, 4. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 7; t5. Cedar Rapids Prairie 6; t5. Iowa City High 6.
First round — Lucas Brown (CRJ) def. Connor Crippes (CRK), 6-2, 6-3; Sasha Chackalakal (ICW) def. Logan Renner (CRP), 6-0, 6-2; Bennet Blumenthal (CRW) def. Diego Paciotto-Biggers (ICH), 6-3, 2-6, 6-1; Kareem Abumaizer (CRJ) def. Ryan Neubauer (CRP), 6-0, 6-2.
Quarterfinals — Joe Hoff (ICH) def. Brown, 6-0, 6-0; Jiung Jung (ICW) def. Abumaizer, 6-0, 6-0; Rami Hemaidan (CRK) def. Blumenthal, 6-0, 6-0; Parker Muller (CRW) def. Chackalakal, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
Semifinals — Hoff def. Muller, 6-0, 6-1; Jung def. Hemaidan, 7-5, 6-1.
Final — Jung def. Hoff, 3-6, 7-5, 2-0 (injury default)
First round — Grant Finneman/Sam Mead (CRK) def. Jacob Henderson/Jack Mossbarger (CRJ), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3; Nathan Harder/Zach Rosenberger (CRP), 6-1, 6-1; Evan Gaskill/Joseph Schmitt (CRP) def. Jon Albaugh/Sam Bloom (ICH), 6-3, 6-1; Dymonte Hawkins/Jayden Shuman (CRJ) def. Brant Barnhart/Connor Shea (CRK), 6-1, 6-3.
Quarterfinals — Cole Schneider/Jack Wenzel (ICW) def. Finneman/Mead, 6-1, 6-1; Rami Scheetz/Ty Sherman (CRW) def. Hawkins/Shuman, 6-0, 6-0; Will Rizer/Ethan Wickham (CRW) def. Harder/Rosenberger, 6-0, 6-0; Sam Shin/Brad DiLeo (ICW) def. Gaskill/Schmitt, 6-4, 6-2.
Semifinals — Schneider/Wenzel def. Rizer/Wickham, 6-1, 6-0; Scheetz/Sherman def. Shin/DiLeo, 6-2, 6-0.
Final — Scheetz/Sherman def. Schneider/Wenzel, 6-4, 7-5.
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