Dailey, Dawson on way to state tourney
ATHENS — East Liverpool’s boys tennis doubles team of Cole Dailey and Preston Dawson knew they had what it took to get to the state tournament.
After a long day on Saturday, the pair celebrated earning a Div. II boys state tennis tournament berth by taking second at the Div. II district meet at Ohio University.
Dailey and Dawson beat Unioto’s Ashton Sigler and Lucas Hanes 6-3, 6-1 in the second round and then defeated Wheelersburg’s Pressley Etterling and Alex Thomas 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals to earn one of two state berths from the district.
The Potter pair had a first round bye since they were the second overall seed in the tournament. The top seed of Waverly’s Waylon Lamerson and Caden Nibert defeated Dawson and Dailey 6-2, 7-5 in the final which stretched into Saturday night.
“(Dawson and Dailey) had great energy going into the second sets and that was what impressed me,” East Liverpool boys tennis coach Isaac Davidson said. “They really worked well as a team.”
Due to multiple three set matches elsewhere in the tournament, Dawson and Dailey did not play the semifinal until around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. That meant the final didn’t go off until 7:15 p.m.
That final match of the tournament got started outdoors but storms quickly moved in and forced the completion of the match indoors.
Dawson will make a return trip to the state tournament as he was paired with Norman Butler last year. Dailey made the district semifinals as a singles player last year, but decided to team up with Dawson as it seemed like the stronger bet for a pathway to the state tournament.
The pair were the top two Potter singles players in the regular season and only started playing doubles together in the postseason.
“They’ve put in a lot of time to get ready outside of practice,” Davidson said.
The Div. II state tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.