Panthers ease into second round of tennis playoffs

Josh Kienzle returns a shot during Lakeside's 3-1 win over Northside-Warner Robins in the opening round of the Class AAAA boys state tennis tournament.

It didn’t take long for the Lakeside boys tennis team to advance to the second round of the Class AAAA boys state tennis tournament Wednesday morning.


A day after the Lakeside girls team advanced to the second round with a 5-0 win over Lee County, the Panthers made short work of Northside Warner Robins, winning 3-1.

“It’s good, we’re excited to be in the second round,” said Panthers coach Miranda Whitmire, whose squad entered as the No. 2 team from Region 2.

“The next match, no matter who we play is going to be tough,” she said.

Finishing first was the doubles team of Will Kuzia and Ethan van Arkel, who won 6-0, 6-1.

“It was a beautiful day out here,” said van Arkel. “It all fell into place.”

Jacob Vincenzetti finished next with a 6-2, 6-1 win followed by Andrew Bowles’ 6-1, 6-3 triumph.

Vincenzetti knows the competition level will go up the further the team advances.

“The teams get harder and teams pay more attention to you,” said Vincenzetti.

Northside-Warner Robins got on the board when Nate Ashley topped Lakeside’s Josh Kienzle, 7-6, 6-0. Because of time constraints, the second doubles match was halted tied at one set apiece.

While Whitmire was happy about advancing, she knows her boys still have some work to do.

“They (boys) played well, but I’ve seen them play better,” Whitmire said. “They’ll have to play better if they want to get to the third round of state.”

Depending on what happens with potential opponents, both Lakeside squads have a chance at playing host to second-round matches. Those matches will have to be completed by next Wed­nesday.