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Canfield tennis team stays perfect with rout of unbeaten Howland

By Greg Gulas-Vindicator, 04/05/19, 6:30PM EDT



Since assuming the reins of the Canfield boys tennis program from the late Larry Davis, head coach Pat Pavlansky has guided the Cardinals to four consecutive All-American Conference championships.

After Thursday’s 5-0 shutout of previously unbeaten Howland, the undefeated Cardinals (4-0, 4-0 AAC) are making their case for a fifth straight crown.

Sirin Nalluri won his third straight No. 1 singles match while Noah Zoldan (No. 2) and Ryan Klika (No. 3) improved to 4-0 to pace Canfield.

Nalluri defeated Michael Awadalla 6-0, 6-1 and after the match said that his net game was deficient, which cost him in the team’s season opener against Warren Harding. It’s been the part of his game on which he has concentrated most ever since.

“I’m working on my net game and it’s definitely getting better,” Nalluri said. “I started slow in that first match, played better in the second set but made entirely too many net errors. I continue to work on that area and today felt like I played much better.

“Michael is a heavy ground stroke player, so I wanted to move him around. Whenever I got the short balls, I made sure to finish the point because he’s an excellent defensive player.”

Zoldan, who played doubles last year when the Cardinals finished third at state, finished off the Tigers’ Hunter Slyk, 6-0, 6-1.

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All-American Conference

The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.