Niskayuna doubles team reaches state tennis tournament quarterfinals

The Niskayuna doubles team of Ricky Dartawan and Jarod Rackliffe reached the quarterfinals at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Boys Tennis Championships last weekend at the National Tennis Center in Queens.

Dartawan and Rackliffe won their first two matches before losing in straight sets to Dean and Ben Vlassis from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. The Vlassis brothers went on to place third in the doubles competition.

Dartawan and Rackliffe, who placed second at the Section 2 championships, opened the state tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Susquehanna Valley’s Cody Jacobs and Mason Spottek. In the round of 16, Dartawan and Rackliffe pulled out a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Logan Fligel and Stephan Gershfeld from Hewlett (Section 8) to reach the quarterfinals.

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Albany Academy’s doubles team of Aidan and William O’Brien also made it to the quarterfinals. The Section 2 champs pulled out a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2 victory over Syosset’s Brian Gao and Peter Bukary in the opening round, and they defeated Churchville-Chili’s Ben Davis and Connor Starr 6-3, 6-2 to get to the quarterfinal round. Mamaroneck’s Charlie Levinson and Connor Aylett defeated the O’Briens 6-3. 6-1 to move on to the semifinals.

Bethlehem’s Govind Chari and Lleyton Emery lost in the opening round of the doubles tournament, but earned a victory in the consolation bracket by defeating Half Hollow Hills East’s Ishan Varma and Aryan Sethi in straight sets. Chari and Emery lost to Orchard Park’s Noah Sayoc and Declan Watson in three sets to finish the tournament with a 1-2 record.

In the singles’ draw, Saratoga Springs’ Nicholas Grosso was the lone Section 2 player to advance out of the first round. Grosso defeated Connetquot’s Alan Sabovic 6-3, 6-1 before losing to Syosset’s Kabir Rajpal in the round of 16.

Chatham’s Keon Armstrong, Averill Park’s Eric Schuman and CBA-Albany’s Mike Kendrick all lost in the opening round of the singles’ draw. Armstrong – the Section 2 champion – battled back to the consolation bracket finals, where he lost to Hendrick Hudson’s Josh Nelson 6-4, 6-2. Schuman and Kendrick each won a match in the consolation bracket and finished with 1-2 records. Armstrong compiled a 3-2 record.

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