By Kyle LoJacono
The Land O’ Lakes boys tennis team reached its third straight regional tournament by finishing as the runner-up in the Class 2A-District 6 tournament at Wesley Chapel High April 6-7.
The Gators won district titles the last two years, but lost their Nos. 2-5 singles players to graduation.
“I was told it was going to be a tough season since we lost a team of seniors last year,” said first-year Land O’ Lakes coach Jasalyn Gerazounis. “However, I had an amazing journey with my team. I could not be more proud of everyone I had the pleasure of coaching my first year as a Land O’ Lakes High School Gator. Leaving the tournament with multiple ribbons and trophy in hand meant that all of the hard work paid off.”
The Gators entered with a 9-2 record, losing to Wiregrass Ranch and district rival Gulf. They earned 11 points in the event, behind only Mitchell’s 14.
Gator’s No. 1 player Colin Roller won the singles district championship against Wesley Chapel’s Cameron Roth 6-2, 6-0. The win qualified Roller for states as an individual.
“Having Colin on the team is great,” Gerazounis said. “Because a lot of the players on the team look up to him, Colin brings more to the team than talent and points. He is always there to cheer on his team, calm them down when they are getting frustrated and offer some great coaching tips. Colin is simply a well-rounded player, and will undoubtedly experience success in the future.”
Roller, a junior, and teammate Harrison Luong also won the No. 1 doubles championship, giving them a berth in states. It is the third straight year he has reached states for both.
“It was a much different year,” Roller said. “Last year with all our seniors we expected to win districts and go deep in the playoffs. This year was tougher, but in a way that made very rewarding because a lot of people thought we won’t do as well.”
The Gators will travel to play Nature Coast at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12.
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