MONROE — Jesuit landed three teams in the boys doubles semifinals and is in position to repeat for the eighth straight season as the LHSAA State Tennis Tournament Division I champion.
Jesuit leads second-place Catholic 13-9 in team scoring.
The Bears also have three teams in the semifinals. Catholic would have to win out to take its first state title since 1996.
Jesuit’s doubles teams of Jonathan Niehaus and Jacob Niehaus will battle teammates Steib and Torsch in one semifinal, while Catholic’s Stephen Bienvenu and William Aguillard meet Jesuit’s Trey Hamlin and Brandon Beck in the other. The undefeated Niehaus brothers are junior twins and the top seed.
“We control our own destiny,” Jesuit coach Travis Smith said. “We can win the title with Beck and Hamlin win over Catholic doubles or with our doubles team winning in the finals. I’m really proud of my team.”
Jesuit’s Gregory Suhort was the top seed in boys singles. Catholic’s Andrew Bienvenu knocked Suhort out, and Catholic’s Nick Watson knocked Jesuit’s Alex Depacual, the second seed, out also in the quarterfinals.
Dominican leads the Division I girls race, Mt. Carmel is second and St. Joseph’s Academy third.
Dominican has three doubles teams in the semifinals: top-seeded Morgan Forshag and Lilly Labiche, Madison Artiguas and Gabrielle Terranova, and Tori Sutherland and Jillian Sandoz in doubles. Dominican’s Haley Tucker advanced in singles.
Tucker will battle SJA’s Hanna Dileo in one semifinal. Mt. Carmel’s Taylor Garcia meets Zachary’s Yasmine Taylor in the other.
Mt. Carmel’s doubles team of Alexis Lifsey and Nikki Nuebeck also advanced.
Bryce Montalbano of Holy Cross advanced to the Division II boys singles semifinals. He’ll face St. Michael’s Jeremy Braud.
Semifinal action begins at 8 a.m. Friday. Finals start at noon.
Jesuit has won 17 of the past 18 boys titles.
St. Michael and Vandebilt Catholic are tied for the Division II boys lead with eight points.
St. Michael, the 2012 and 2013 state champion, has two singles players, while VCHS, the 2014 champion, has two doubles teams.
“It’ll come down to which teams can pull out matches (Friday),” St. Michael coach Johnny Little said. “We have a good rivalry with Vandebilt. Cameron Andry is playing great, and Jeremy Braud got revenge from last year by beating No. 2 seed Mitchell Thomas of Vandebilt in the quarterfinals.”
Andry beat his three foes by a combined 36-1. St. Michael also picked up a point each from its doubles teams of James Ensminger and Matthew Miller, and Jack Cane and Colin Shortess.
St. Michael and Neville are tied for the Division II girls lead with nine points.