Krug twins shine as Thunder roll past Tampa Prep in final
The third time proved to be the charm for the Out-of-Door Academy boys tennis team in the Class 1A boys state finals at Sanlando Park.
After being bounced out of the tournament in the first round the last two years, ODA finally got over that first round hump and dominated its semifinal and finals matchups Tuesday to bring home a state championship trophy.
The Thunder opened the day with a 5-0 sweep of Miami Country Day. ODA needed even less time to top Tampa Prep in the final, thanks in large part to strong efforts by Jake and Connor Krug.
The Krug twins needed less than half an hour to win their No. 1 doubles match 6-1, 6-2 over Tampa Prep's Bryce Guenther and Rory Kemm — giving them a chance to play for the Class 1A overall doubles championship Wednesday. Jakub Svoboda and Quinn Isaac also won their No. 2 doubles match to give the Thunder control heading into singles play.
Jake Krug defeated Tampa Prep's Omar Hamzah 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 3 singles match and Connor Krug followed suit topping Rory Kemm 6-3, 6-0 in a match that wasn't needed in the final tally thanks to Svoboda's win in singles play just minutes before.
The Thunder topped Tampa Prep 4-0. All of the remaining matches were canceled at that point, allowing ODA to celebrate the title. "It was kind of anticlimactic because it seems like we played the best teams (Monday)," ODA head coach Kieran Killigrew said. "We were just dominant today. We just went out there and got it done."
Killigrew looked back on the losses over the last couple of years and said that made winning the championship even more special.
"This is just incredible," he said. "It just seemed out of reach for so long. All the hard work and effort the kids put in to actually accomplish this is just unbelievable."
ODA's Ava Krug and Sydney Sforzo won the Class 1A girls doubles individual bracket. They topped no. 2 seed Samantha DeMaio and Sammy Miller from Trinity Prep 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-7. They will play for the overall girls doubles title Wednesday morning.
Venice's Ben Zipay and Ryan Rajakar will play for the Class 3A boys individual doubles title Wednesday after cruising by Freedom's Jared Klay and Hakim Zekri 6-1, 6-0. They topped No. 2 seed Carlos Grande and Sebastian Velez of Belen Jesuit in to win the individual bracket and will play for the overall doubles title Wednesday afternoon.
In other individual action, Saint Stephen's Maxx Damm and Kevin Jiang finished as state runners-up in the Class 1A boys individual doubles championship after falling 6-3, 6-3 to top-seeded Grant Dill and Antonio Mora of Ransom Everglades in the final. Braden River's David Ojeda lost to Vanguard's Luke Zirakian 7-6 (4), 6-0 in a boys Class 3A individual singles semifinal.
—Scott Lockwood - Herald Tribune