The Marvin Ridge boys’ tennis team had one goal in mind this season: a 3A state championship.
From the moment the Mavericks lost to Cardinal Gibbons in the 2014 state final (6-0), they were focused on getting back and winning it all this year.
Marvin Ridge coach, Julie van Olden, the Charlotte Observer boys’ tennis coach of the year, and her team did just that – outlasting Cardinal Gibbons 5-4 in a match that lasted nearly five hours – to claim the 3A state title.
The victory also capped a perfect 18-0 for the Mavericks, who were also the Southern Carolinas’ conference champions.
Charlotte Country Day junior, Kavir Kumar, earns the Observer boys’ tennis player of the year honors after going 36-3 overall this year, including 18-1 in singles’ play.
Kumar, who beat an array of the area’s top players (including five of the eight first-team, All-Observer picks), didn’t lose a singles’ match until the state championship match (final match of season) against Cary Academy’s Alex Yang.
Kumar has now going 69-3 (singles/doubles combined) in the past two seasons, earning all-state honors in both years while leading his Country Day team to back-to-back, NCISAA 3A state runner-up finishes.
Kumar is one of the top junior players in the country, already a five-star recruit, currently ranked No. 4 in the state, No. 25 in the Southeast and No. 56 in the nation, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
2015 All-Observer boys tennis team
All-Observer Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year: Kavir Kumar, Charlotte Country Day.
All-Observer Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year: Julie van Olden, Marvin Ridge.
Kavir Kumar, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.: Two-time all-state performer has gone 69-3 in his last two seasons, with an 18-1 singles’ record this season to lead NCISAA 3A state runner-up Bucs.
George Lovitt, Marvin Ridge, Jr.: 3A state singles’ runner-up went 28-2 in singles this season; was also 3A Midwest Regional runner-up, Southern Carolinas’ conference champion, and led Mavericks to 3A state team title.
Ryan Jurist, Lake Norman, Fr.: Wildcats’ freshman exploded onto the season as 4A West Regional singles’ champion, 4A singles’ state quarterfinalist, already a five-star recruit, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
Greg Dow, Lake Norman, Sr.: North Piedmont conference (NPC) player of the year was major part of 18-1, 4A state quarterfinalist team.
Allan Lock, Covenant Day, Jr.: All-state, all-CISAA performer led Covenant Day squad to state semifinals.
Alex Brea, Providence Day, Sr.: Appalachian State signee, two-time all-state pick, went 15-4 in singles’ play in one of the states’ most brutal conferences (CISAA).
Max Vicaro, Pine Lake Prep, Fr.: 1A state champion, 1A West Regional champion was 18-1 in singles’ play this season as a freshman.
Joel Dunlap, Statesville Christian, Jr.: Lions’ No. 1 led his team to a NCISAA 1A state title, going 15-1 in singles’, 14-1 in doubles (with Matt Meluch), with his only singles’ loss coming to Kumar.
Wlayimer Jimenez, Hough, Sr.: 4A West Regional runner-up also was 4A state singles’ quarterfinalist just eight months after coming to the United States from Venezuela to seek political asylum.
Hayden Wohlfarth/Woody Watson, Marvin Ridge: 3A state doubles’ champions both went 24-1 in doubles’ play, 14-1 in singles’ play as Mavericks’ senior co-captains.
Avanish Madhavaram/John Hatala, Marvin Ridge: 3A state doubles’ runner-ups clinched the 3A state (team) championship an 11-10 (7-3 in tiebreaker) to beat Cardinal Gibbons, 5-4, the finals.
Robert Shore/Graham Basquin, Ardrey Kell: Sophomore duo won 4A West Regional doubles’ championship also advancing to 4A state doubles’ quarterfinals.
K. Kumar/Luke McClelland, Charlotte Country Day: Bucs’ duo went 18-2 this season together to form one of the Observer area’s best doubles’ team.
Ethan Scheper, Providence, Fr.
Chinmay Kulkarni, Providence, Sr.
Sean Nestor, Charlotte Catholic, So.
Zuri Kent-Smith, Queens Grant, Sr.
Austin Schlepel, Cuthbertson, Jr.
Will Ockerman, Covenant Day, Jr.
Evan Cater, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.
Matt Meluch, Statesville Christian, So.
Charlie Schuls, Forestview, Fr.
Alex Brea/Alex Comisar, Providence Day.
Daniel Crossin/Alex Wrench, Pine Lake Prep.
Oliver Picot/Jacob Wenzel, Community School of Davidson.
Sahil Vasa/William Hatt, Weddington.
Charlie Fox/Koby Frank, Myers Park.