(Update: 4A Midwest Regional has been moved to Greensboro Grimsley.)
The strength of its schedule bore fruit Tuesday for Big Eight runner-up Chapel Hill as the Tigers – forced onto the road as a No. 2 seed – cruised to a 6-0 shutout win at previously undefeated Jacksonville White Oak.
That was just one of the shutout victories for local teams playing in the first round of the NCHSAA’s dual-team tournament. Defending 2A state champion Carrboro won 9-0 at Randleman, while East Chapel Hill took out Garner by a 9-0 score at Wildcat Tennis Stadium.
In Jacksonville, Chapel Hill’s Bryan Zhang, David Mirzoyan, Jared Weber, Tom Kennedy, Lucas Prata and Evan Scopes-Crafts all won in straight sets for Chapel Hill. None of them gave up more than three games in any set.
White Oak ended its year at 16-1, while Chapel Hill (12-3) advanced in the 3A tournament to a second-round match May 5 at Union Pines (15-1) in Cameron. Union Pines got through the first round with an 8-1 win against Corinth Holders.
Chapel Hill gave Union Pines its lone loss so far this year with a 5-4 decision March 26 on the Vikings’ home courts. Chapel Hill’s only losses so far this year came against 4A power East Chapel Hill and Big Eight champion Cardinal Gibbons, the four-time NCHSAA 3A champion.
The Crusaders (19-4) won their first-round match 9-0 first-round against West Carteret and will play Northern Guilford, a 5-0 winner against Cleveland, in next week’s second round.
Regionals: The dual-team tournament will on hold while the NCHSAA individual regionals are played Friday and Saturday.
Chapel Hill will be sending Prata in singles and two doubles teams – Zhang-Weber and Kennedy-Mirzoyan – to the NCHSAA 3A Mideast Regional at Burlington Tennis Center.
Carrboro, which swept the Mid-State Conference’s tournament championships, is sending a full contingent to the 2A Mideast Regional at Herman Park in Goldsboro.
Carrboro’s No. 3 singles player, Zach Anderson, defeated No. 2 teammate Brian Freiburghouse for the Mid-State singles title; both will play singles in the regional.
Carrboro’s doubles entries are Max Fritsch and Jake Zinn – who are the defending NCHSAA doubles champions – and Jason Wykoff and Sean Ross, who fell to Fritsch-Zinn in the Mid-State doubles final.
East Chapel Hill is headed to the 4A Midwest Regional in Greensboro with PAC-6 singles champion Kevin Huang and teammate Thomas Wang, plus the PAC-6 doubles champions: Jack Devonport and Connor Lutz. The 4A regional, originally scheduled at Page High School, will be played at Grimsley High School's courts.
A big test for ‘Cats: East Chapel Hill (13-1) has its work cut out for it when it plays its second-round dual-team match at undefeated Green Hope (17-0).
Green Hope hardly seemed tested in its 9-0 victory over Fayetteville Cape Fear. Nos. 1 through 6 in singles – Ben Wayand, Louis Rico, Ashwin Iyer, George Edwards, Rohit Ghotkar and Eshaan Javalkar – dropped only one game and the three doubles teams each won 8-0.
Carrboro gets road win: Carrboro won the NCHSAA 2A team championship in 2014 but could be on the road for the first four rounds of the 2015 tournament. The Jaguars saw a significant number of regular-season matches get rained out and finished the season with a 10-1 record. That put them playing catch-up in the NCHSAA pairings, which relied heavily on total wins for seeding purposes.
Hence, Carrboro will be on the road (more than three and one-half hours) Tuesday to coastal Currituck High School (12-1). If they win, the Jaguars are likely to be on the road again to either Croatan (12-0) or St. Paul’s (13-0), which play Tuesday.