Appearing in the championship final for the fourth straight year, Carrboro defeated Brevard Saturday to earn a second consecutive 2A title in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s annual state men’s dual team tournament.
Carrboro (14-1) had every reason feel confident going into Saturday’s finals at the Burlington Tennis Center. The Jaguars had not lost an individual match while defeating every 2A team they faced this year. And they had shut out two previously undefeated teams in the NCHSAA tournament – Croatan (13-1) and N.C. Science & Math (10-0).
Brevard (16-1) likewise was undefeated before its rematch with Carrboro. The Jaguars, who blanked Brevard 5-0 a year ago, won 5-2 this time around.
“The match was definitely more difficult than last year,” Carrboro junior Jake Zinn said. “Brevard had almost all of their players returning, and we knew they had improved.
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Carrboro put its tremendous depth to good use, scoring points from the bottom four singles players and the decisive team point at No. 3 doubles.
Sophomore Jason Wykoff won his No. 6 singles match 6-1, 6-1 and then teamed with junior Sean Ross to win No. 3 doubles, 10-3.
Once Wykoff and Ross clinched the team point with their doubles win, there was no need to complete the other two doubles matches.
“The plan was just to see who could finish first,” said Wykoff of a meeting among the three doubles teams. “We wanted to try our hardest and win quickly.”
The Jaguars were favored once the match went to doubles after last week’s all-Carrboro final in state doubles tournament. Wykoff and Ross were the runners-up to teammates Max Fritsch and Zinn, the Jaguars’ No. 1 team.
“I expected it to go to doubles due to how good their No. 1 and 2 were expected to be, but I never doubted the win, due to our excellent doubles play,” Carrboro coach Jon Noyes said.
Carborro’s other team points came from freshman Zach Anderson at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2; Zinn at No. 4, winning the longest match of the day, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; and freshman Andre Javan at No. 5, 7-5, 6-2.
“I knew when I was the last one on the singles court that it was crucial for me to win,” Zinn said. “I knew when I was down in the set tie breaker 2-5 I couldn’t lose another point. Winning that set really boosted my confidence.”
Fritsch was named the 2A event’s Most Valuable Player.
“Not enough can be said about MVP Max,” Noyes said, noting the Carrboro team captain played at No. 1 singles in four consecutive team championship finals and won the NCHSAA doubles championship twice with Zinn. “A great guy. He will be missed.”
“Having Max as a partner was great,” Zinn added. “Max and I have played together since we were 11 years old. He has always been such a solid player, and I’m really happy he went out with another win.”
In Saturday’s other tennis championships:
▪ Raleigh Wakefield took down Greensboro Page 5-1 for the 4-A championship.
Wakefield was in the championship match for the third time in four years and won its second dual team title during that span, finishing a perfect 21-0 season.
Page, appearing in its fifth men’s dual-team final and with two previous state titles, ended the year 14-2.
▪ The closest championship of the day – and by far the longest – was a grueling 3A final between Big Eight champion Cardinal Gibbons and Waxhaw Marvin Ridge.
After the team score was tied at 4-4 following two doubles matches, the final boiled down No. 1 doubles, a 21-game pro set thriller, won by John Hatala and Avanish Madhavaram of Marvin Ridge, 11-10 on a 7-3 tiebreaker over Matt Galush and Jim Mantyh.
Gibbons (22-5) made its 10th straight appearance in the championships in two different classifications and had its consecutive state title streak snapped at four.
Marvin Ridge finished a perfect 18-0 campaign.
▪ Raleigh Charter was in in the 1A finals for the third time and won its second NCHSAA title with a 5-2 victory over Mooresville Pine Lake Prep.
Raleigh Charter finished the year 11-0 in dual-team matches, while Pine Lake Prep, located in Mooresville, wound up 12-2 overall.
Rick Strunk of the NCHSAA and correspondent Tom Shanahan contributed to this report.
NCHSAA Team Tennis Championships
Raleigh Wakefield 5, Greensboro Page 1
SINGLES: Bo Boyden (W) def. Hardy Brown 6-1, 6-1; Jensen Martin (W) def. Jack Oldis 6-3, 7-6(5), Blake Carter (W) def. Henry Enochs 6-0, 6-2; Nico Grewe (W) def. Michael Bass 7-6 (5), 6-3; Lake Ihly (W) def. Charlie Snipes 6-1, 6-4; Mason Kolls (P) def. Robert Belonga 6-0, 6-0.
DOUBLES: not played with outcome decided.
Waxhaw Marvin Ridge 5, Cardinal Gibbons 4
SINGLES: Matt Galush (CG) def. George Lovitt 6-2, 6-1; John Hatala (MR) def. Jim Mantyh 6-4, 7-5; Avanish Madhavaram (MR) def. Kyler Zadell 6-4, 3-6, (10-7); Hayden Wohlfarth (MR) def. Brody Chapman 6-1, 6-0; Kyle Fitzgerald (CG) def. Woody Watson 5-7, 6-3, (10-3); Louie Velasco (CG) def. Michael Kronovet 6-2, 1-6, (10-8).
DOUBLES: Hatala-Madhavaram (MR) def. Galush-Mantyh 11-10 (7-3); Lovitt-Watson (MR) def. Zadell-Chapman 10-4; Fitzgerald-Velasco (CG) def. Wohlfarth-Liam Florian 10-7.
Carrboro 5, Brevard 2
SINGLES: Joseph Schraeder (B) def. Max Fritsch 6-2, 6-3; Liam Baer (B) def. Brian Freiburghouse 6-2, 6-2; Zach Anderson (C) def. Andy McCall 6-1, 6-2; Jake Zinn (C) def. Joe Roberts 7-6(5), 6-4; Andre Javan (C) def. Charles Kang 7-5, 6-2; Jason Wykoff (C) def. Cameron Wilson 6-1, 6-1.
DOUBLES: Fritsch-Zinn (C) led McCall-Roberts 8-0 when match stopped with outcome decided; Schraeder-Wilson (B) led Freiburghouse-Anderson 9-7 when match stopped with outcome decided; J.Wykoff-Sean Ross (C) def. Baer-Kang 10-3.
Raleigh Charter 5, Pine Lake Prep 2
SINGLES: Max Vicario (PLP) def. Chinna Baskaran 6-0, 6-2; Daniel Crossin (PLP) def. Revant Birla 6-2, 6-1; Joseph Fisher (RC) def. Alex Wrench 6-4, 6-2; Harrison Tseng (RC) def. Brian Forte 6-2, 6-4; Cole Esleeck (RC) def. Parker Simpson 6-1, 7-5; Dennis Smith (RC) def. Sheppard Fowler 6-4, 6-1.
DOUBLES: Vicario-Forte (PLP) led Baskaran-Birla 7-3 when match stopped with outcome decided; Fisher-Tseng (RC) led Crossin-Wrench 7-3 when match stopped with outcome decided; Esleeck-Smith (RC) def. Simpson-Reid Ingram 10-5.