The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 23, 2013

Boys tennis: Lewisburg's Ben Koch earns Player of the Year honor

(Continued)

"It felt great to complete that very, very long term goal successfully. Going into the final match, I was very nervous because losing to him the week before really did play a huge role in my tennis season there at the end," said Koch. "I knew I had to play my game. Losing in the semis last year was heartbreaking, because I really wanted to see what it was like to play at the state level and learn from it -- that way going into my senior year I would have a better idea going into states this year. But in the end, it all turned out very well and I am truly blessed to be where I ended up."

Following districts, Koch advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Championships where he fell to eventual state champ Ricardo Saad of Wyomissing, 6-0, 6-0. In the first round he beat Thomas Jefferson's Jake Mascaro, 6-2, 6-2.

Despite the loss to Saad, the match was Koch's second-most memorable moment this year after his district singles title.

"That really was so much fun playing (Saad). He brings tennis to a new level and getting to play him and hit out with him was so much fun," said Koch. "Going into that match I had nothing to lose and I didn't lose anything that day. I had a lot of fun that day."

"As a player, I loved his love of the game. During his last match in the state tournament, he was up against the eventual PIAA champ. He knew it was going to be a tough match, but he came off the court saying, 'that was fun!'", said Lewisburg coach Matt Barr. "He enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to play at that high of a level.

"I also like his work ethic. When he lost against David in the team tournament, he didn't mope. He hit practice and was determined to give him a better match."

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