Cardinal Gibbons High, which won the N.C. High School Athletic Association boys 3A dual-team tennis title in 2014, and Cary Academy, which won the 2014 N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A title, locked up in a tight match on Tuesday.
Gibbons, which didn’t lose a match in last year’s playoffs, nipped Cary Academy 5-4. Three of the singles matches went to tie-breakers with Gibbons winning two.
Matt Galush of Gibbons beat Alex Yang 6-2, 4-6 (10-7) at No. 1. Kevin Wu of Cary Academy topped Jim Mantyh 5-6, 6-3 (10-6) at No. 3, and Kyle Fitzgerald of Gibbons beat John Peterson 3-6, 6-3 (12-10) at No. 6.
The Chargers’ Calvin Ma won by retirement, and Brody Chapman of Gibbons took a 6-4, 6-4 win over Zack Saklad.
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The only match that wasn’t close was Cary Academy’s Patrick Mulqueen’s 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Kyler Zadell at No. 5.
“It was just as tight as we thought it would be,” said Gibbons coach Andrew Tuttle. “We beat them 5-4 last year, and they have most of their starters back, and so do we.”
The match was tied 3-3 with the three tie-breakers being played. Fitzgerald won for a 4-3 lead, and minutes later Galush clinched the victory with his win.
“Tight matches like that bring out the best aspects of team play,” Tuttle said. “All the guys were running from one court to the next. You don’t always get that if you are way ahead.”
Gibbons, 9-0, will play in the DecoTurf High School Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn., on March 27 and 28. The 16-team field includes teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.
Ress wins spot: Cary High’s Justin Ress, swimming with the Marlins of Raleigh club team, qualified for the U.S. Junior National team during competition this week at the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals in Orlando, Fla.
Ress finished second in the 200 backstroke to earn a berth on the U.S. team that will swim in the Irish Nationals.
His 2:00.53 time qualifies him for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. He earlier had finished fourth in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
Ress won the 4A 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle this spring and anchored Cary’s winning 400-yard relay in the NCHSAA 4A championships.
Frazier is fast: A quick glance at Jim Spier’s list of the top high school indoor track times in the country this season gives a great perspective of how outstanding Ravenscroft’s Ryen Frazier is.
She has the nation’s fastest times in the 1,500 meters (4:22.3), the mile (4:41.56), the 3,000 meters (9:23.68) and two mile (10:02.86). Frazier has the second-fastest 5,000 meters (16:12.81).
The Ravenscroft senior has four of the five fastest miles this season with Leesville Road’s Nevada Mareno slipping in with the second fastest (4:43.23).
Basketball honors: Eddie Gray, coach of state 4A champion Garner, and Kim Annas of Durham Jordan were named as the district boys basketball coaches of the year by the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association. Chris Clemons of Millbrook and Kentrell Barkley were named the boys district players of the year.
Chapel Hill’s Sherry Norris and Broughton’s Brad McCorkle are the girls coaches of the year. Tainashia Vines of Bunn and Grace Hunter of Athens Drive are the girls players of the year in the area.
Go to ncbca.com to see the all-district teams from throughout the state.
Area leaders: Drake Harris of North Raleigh Christian already has hit three home runs and driven in 10 runs in baseball this spring. The Knights have won their last three games 17-0 (Franklin Academy), 16-1 (St. David’s) and 12-0 (Fayetteville Village Christian.)
Chris Joyner of Green Hope leads the area in baseball strikeouts with 16.
Laura Williams of 6-0 Heritage has 27 softball strikeouts, while teammate Jordan Gontram has 12 RBI.
Sophomore Robin Pollard of West Johnston leads with 11 goals in girls soccer.
Megan Blawas of Wakefield (13 goals, 10 assists), Jordan Pappin of Cardinal Gibbons (17 goals, 5 assists) and Lilly Stanley of Green Hope (13 goals, 7 assists) are atop the girls lacrosse leaders.
In boys lacrosse, Jack Hayden of Apex (16 goals, 5 assists) and Chris Cox of East Chapel Hill (2 goals, 19 assists) lead the way.