Avon Eagles' Nico Mostardi on a quest for state tennis title (Tennis Notebook)

At 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds, Nico Mostardi’s size might prompt an unwitting opponent to discount him on the tennis court.

But a quick glance at the 14-year old’s brief varsity track record reveals all one needs to know about his prowess with a racket.

Playing first singles for Avon High School in this, his freshman year, Mostardi has mowed down all competitors in his path to date. What’s more, is with his smooth, fluid style, he has made it appear effortless.

Mostardi has compiled an unblemished 10-0 record and there is no indication he will slow down anytime soon.

“I was coming into the season expecting a pretty good record from the start,” Mostardi said. “When I read the schedule I knew the first few weren’t real tough matches because I’ve seen the kids before.

No stranger to competition, Mostardi has played in tournaments for five years, often against current varsity players in the area.

“Playing in high school has been pretty much the same (as playing in tournaments),” Mostardi said. “The difference is there are a lot of players I haven’t heard about on other teams.”

To a certain extent, tennis is in Mostardi’s blood as well. His father, renowned tennis instructor Rich Mostardi, is the former tennis coach at Avon Lake High School and his sister Carmela was a district qualifier and winner of the LCAAA and West Shore Conference tournaments. Rich’s half-sister Mariah Mostardi is also a former Division II state qualifier.

While some might crack on under the pressure of living up to their family name, Nico is clearly flourishing. He gives credit to his family — his father in particular — for his early success at the varsity level.

“It’s been huge for me,” Mostardi said. “I don’t have to pay for coaching and I can get feedback every day after every match and go hit anytime I want. It’s a God-given gift.”

It is by no means out of the question for Mostardi to put together an unblemished regular season campaign, but he has his eyes set on something larger — going to the state tournament.

“I would really like to win state, that would be great,” Mostardi said. “I need to get their first, though.”

Mostardi’s quest to reach the state tournament continues this weekend with the LCAAA Tournament.

Powerhouse tandem

Norwalk’s Trevor Bowers and Harry Love have improved to 8-0, at first and second singles respectively. They have also yet to lose a set. With a 3-0 record in conference play, the pair are well on their way to leading the Truckers to their 25th Northern Ohio League title in 30 tries.

Pirates cruising

Undefeated first singles player Manickam Manickam is fronting a Perkins club poised for a Sandusky Bay Conference crown. The Pirates are 5-0 overall and 3-0 in conference action.


Last Updated: 4/18/2013 11:04:37 PM EST

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