Bobcats win OVAC boys title

WEST LIBERTY – It was a bit nippy on the hilltop Thursday. But it wasn’t enough to cool off Cambridge’s rackets.

The Bobcats, behind twin brothers Cody and Connor Engstrom, claimed their first boys’ title since 2007 as the OVAC Tennis Championships concluded at West Liberty University’s Edgar Martin Tennis Complex.

Cambridge finished what it started Tuesday when it led after the doubles round.

”I’m very pleased,” Bobcats coach Mike Denniston said. ”They played hard and well and played with class and good sportsmanship.

”We knew it would be a tough tournament … it always is. We’re just pleased to come out on top.”

The Bobcats finished with 20 points to claim the overall and Class 5A crowns. University followed with 16 and Morgantown had 15. Parkersburg South scored 12 points, followed by Brooke (11), Wheeling Park (8), John Marshall (6), Wheeling Central and East Liverpool (4), Linsly, Madonna and Indian Creek (2), and Steubenville and Weir (1). Oak Glen didn’t score.

Wheeling Central and East Liverpool tied for the Class 4A-1A crown. Tournament Director George Frazier said after going through all of the tiebreaker scenarios both teams remain deadlocked. Therefore, both teams will receive a trophy and be invited to the OVAC Banquet of Champions (May 13) where they will pick up their banners.

It was a banner day for the Engstroms, who also teamed up to win the No. 1 Doubles crown Tuesday.

Cody Engstrom jumped out to an early lead against John Marshall’s Hayden Blazer in the No. 1 Singles final and held on for an 8-5 victory.

Connor Engstrom defeated Parkersburg South’s Grant Tebay, 8-6, in the No. 3 Singles final.

The Hawks and Mohigans split their two championship showdowns.

Morgantown’s Steven Wu defeated University’s Sven Wermuth, 8-1, at No. 2, while the Hawks’ Alex Gutierrez disposed of the Mohigans’ Daniel Pan, 8-6.

The girls singles championship was held Wednesday at the Wheeling Park Bubble due to the rain.

Oak Glen’s Madison Juszczak, the No. 2 seed at No. 4 singles, dropped an 8-0 decision to University’s Meghan Zerkel in the final.

Juszczak received a bye in the first round, defeated Wheeling Park’s Angie Counselman 8-3 in the second round and blanked Morgantown’s Michelle Joseph in the semifinal 8-0.

Linsly captured the Class 4A-1A crown. The Cadets finished tied with Oak Glen in points, but won on the final tiebreaker – the team that has its No. 1 Doubles duo advance furthest.

The Hawks accumulated 24 points, followed by Morgantown with 20 and Parkersburg South with 13. Linsly and Oak Glen had 11, followed by Wheeling Park with eight, John Marshall and St. Clairsville with four, Madonna and Wheeling Central with three, Brooke with two and Indian Creek one. Weir didn’t score.

The Golden Bears Abbi Sayre reached the semis at No. 3 singles.

Indian Creek’s Jessica Furda and St. Clairsville’s Alex Trouten were named the recipients of the Carol Strasser Sportsmanship Award. All coaches submit a nominee for the honor and a winner is drawn from that group.