Based on their own expectations, though, the Elco tennis duo is right where they thought they would be.
The unseeded Bahney and Arnold got their first district tournament appearance as a team off to a rollicking start Friday, posting a pair of straight-set victories during the opening day of play at Hershey Racquet Club.
After scoring an impressive 6-3, 6-1 win over Michael Hogg and David Lee of York Suburban in the first round, Bahney and Arnold kept up the momentum in the second round by rolling over the No. 4 seeds, Jara Welker and D.J. Polacheck of Bishop McDevitt, by a 6-1, 6-3 count.
That win puts the Raider tandem in Saturday's noon semifinals against top seeds Wes Davis and Austin Cook of Lancaster Country Day and also moves them to within one win of earning a spot in the upcoming PIAA state tournament.
"They were excited but not nervous about it," Elco coach Zach Cook said of how the two handled their first big tournament as a team. "They think this is how it should be. They're not showing any kind of fear out there. They're both great competitors, and they played very relaxed today."
That calm, confident approach not only helped Bahney, who advanced to the second round of the district singles tourney last weekend, and Arnold advance, it also helped them raise their games to an appropriately high level, according to Cook.
"They were really in sync," Cook reported. "Adam had a nice, booming serve going, and Tyler served very well, too. And after every point there was a lot of talking, great communication between them. I'm just happy with how they stuck together."
If Bahney and Arnold can keep it together Saturday, an even greater reward awaits in the form of a state tournament berth. Davis and Cook will be formidable semifinal opponents, but as they proved Friday, Bahney and Arnold don't figure to be intimidated by the stakes.
"It's definitely a goal to go to states," Cook said. "The field is wide-open. If they play (Saturday) like they did today, they have a great chance for states."
Also Friday, Cedar Crest's Colin Muraika and Alex Koltun competed in the Class AAA portion of the doubles event at HRC, dropping a 7-5, 6-3 decision to the fourth-seeded Dallastown team of Adam Gante and Andy Murray in the first round.
Cedar Crest set for states: The Cedar Crest boys' tennis team will continue its season Tuesday when it opens PIAA Class AAA state tournament play. The Falcons (15-2) will travel to Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre to take on District Two champion Delaware Valley. The match is set for a 3 p.m. start.