In a battle between the first- and second-ranked boys’ tennis teams in the state, Wakefield showed why it is No. 1, knocking off Cap Eight 4A rival Millbrook 7-2 Wednesday to keep its undefeated season alive.
When Millbrook traveled to Wakefield a month ago, the Wildcats were defeated 7-2 by the host Wolverines, but they were without their top three players, Logan Weber, Austin Cobb and John Karlawish.
With Karlawish and Cobb back, Millbrook coach Craig Isdahl believed his squad had a good shot to avenge the loss and hand Wakefield (12-0, 10-0) its first defeat.
Unfortunately, the outcome was identical as the Wolverines won five of the six singles matches to secure the victory before the doubles matches began.
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Wakefield, which won the singles, doubles, and team state championship last year, is hungry for another title.
“That is certainly the goal,” Wakefield coach Ken Stewart said. “It is a lot tougher this year because we have the bull’s eye on our back and everyone brings their best game against us, but we definitely have the talent and drive to go back-to-back. It will be much harder than last year and there will be some bumps in the road that we will have to overcome, but we can get it done.”
Seniors Bo Boyden and Jensen Martin, Wakefield’s top two singles players, set the tone, winning their matches 6-0, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-1, respectively. The pair is widely considered the best one-two punch in the state.
Boyden, who is committed to play at North Carolina next season, faced off against his good friend and training partner Karlawish, who will be playing for Penn next season.
“I have known John since I was 10 years old and we have played doubles together many times and also trained together so we both know each others games,” Boyden said. “I felt like I served very well and did a great job of getting points up at the net. I went in with a certain strategy and feel like I executed it well.”
Martin will be playing at UNC Charlotte in 2016 and came into his matchup with junior Matthew Moody with a specific game plan, which was to keep Moody moving around and wear him down.
“It was one of those days where you really have to worry about staying hydrated,” Martin said. “I just stayed consistent and wanted to keep him moving around as much as I could. I wanted to force him to make errors and it worked out for me.”
The only singles win for Millbrook (9-3, 8-2) came when sophomore John Lyons defeated junior Robert Belonga 7-5, 7-5 in the longest match of the afternoon. The Wolverines’ sophomore Blake Carter, sophomore Nico Grewe and junior Lake Ihly all won their singles matches as well, showing Wakefield has some quality talent returning for another season.
Millbrook will travel to Heritage (0-7, 0-7) on Thursday afternoon for a critical conference matchup. Wakefield will enjoy some time off before hosting Heritage on Monday.