Green Hope hasn’t had to play for very long in its two 4A boys’ team tennis playoff matches, but the undefeated Falcons still think they’re prepared for the tougher rounds.
A 6-0 sweep Tuesday of visiting Garner took about an hour.
Green Hope (19-0) will play Wakefield (17-1) in the third round next Tuesday. Wakefield won all six singles matches to top Durham Jordan 6-0.
Green Hope didn’t drop a set, and the top three seeds – Kelly Patch, Matt Hammond and Louis Rico – each won 6-0, 6-0.
Kyle Burns (6-1, 6-3), Michael Neighbors (6-1, 6-2) and Mark Wicklegren (6-1, 6-0) completed a comfortable day. But they know this is likely the end of the quick matches.
“We got a chance to see Wakefield and Jordan at (individual) regionals and they’ve both got outstanding players. There will be some stiff competition next week,” said Green Hope coach Brian McDougall. “Mentally, they’ll be ready. One goal of the team is to get a step further than we did last year, and today we accomplished that. Obviously the goal now is to go as far as we can and try to win the whole thing.”
Patch knows what it’s like to have to take his game to another level. Eight months removed from back surgery, the junior had to adjust while competing in the 4A individual championships last week.
“We’ve gotten better as the season’s gone along,” Patch said. “We’ve really been a solid team this year and all the guys seem very supportive of each other and now is really when the season gets going.”
While the Falcons’ undefeated year carries on, the best Garner postseason run ended. The Trojans had never been to the second round, but they built on their 16-3 team of a year ago with a win last week at Fayetteville Britt.
“To see the team develop last year and win and see this year unfold and win again, it’s been such a great thing,” Garner coach Joe Walls said.