Cary Academy’s run to the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 3A boys’ dual-team tennis championship came with a big singles upset, hospital visits and IV bags.
Cary Academy defeated Charlotte Country Day 5-2 in the final Saturday after rallying for a 5-3 victory over Covenant Day in the semifinals Friday.
The semifinals win was helped by Patrick Mulqueen battling through severe cramps to take a victory at No. 4 singles and Calvin Ma fighting off two match points during a tiebreaker at No. 2 singles.
Mulqueen was ahead 3-0 in the third set Friday when he began to have cramps, which quickly worsened.
“We didn’t know if he could continue,” Cary Academy coach Taylor Meyer said. “But he hobbled through it. It was amazing to watch. I don’t know how he did it. To me it was like a miracle. He couldn’t run but managed to win.”
Mulqueen received IVs at the hospital, but Meyer was unsure how Mulqueen would play Saturday.
He and Kevin Wu won 8-5 at No. 2 doubles in the final and Brett Hodgdon and John Peterson won 8-3 at No. 3 doubles. Cary Academy led 2-1 after doubles when Ma and Alex Yang lost 8-5 at No. 1.
Yang pulled a big upset at No. 1 singles, claiming a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kavir Kumar, who is ranked among the top players in the state. Mulqueen gutted out a 6-3, 6-5 win at No. 4.
Ma clinched the title by fighting off two set points in the first set before winning the tiebreaker 7-5 and serving out for the victory in the second set 6-4, despite severe cramps that also required an IV.
“I didn’t know what to expect in the finals because our semifinals were so tough,” Meyer said. “I was proud of the boys for giving such a great effort. They left it all on the court.”
Playoff balance: The N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs have displayed the area’s balance. The Cap Eight 4A’s Leesville Road and Millbrook are joined by the Southwest Wake Athletic 4A’s Fuquay-Varina, the Greater Neuse River 4A’s Garner, and the PAC-Six 4A’s Northern Durham in the third round.
The Southwest Wake 4A has three teams in the third round of the softball playoffs – Panther Creek, Apex and Fuquay-Varina. The Cap Eight 4A’s Heritage and the Greater Neuse 4A’s Harnett Central also will play Tuesday night.
No Greater Neuse 4A or PAC-Six 4A girls’ soccer teams survived the first two rounds. Broughton and Leesville Road of the Cap Eight 4A are joined by the Southwest Wake 4A’s Holly Springs, Panther Creek and Fuquay-Varina.
Tennis recruit: Molly Horton, who played No. 1 on the Person High girls’ tennis team, has signed with Averett in Danville, Va. Horton was 10-9 in singles in 2014 season.
Leesville Road at Southeast Guilford (Tues., 7 p.m.); Millbrook at Garner (Tues., 7 p.m.); Fayetteville Pine Forest at Fuquay-Varina (Tues., 7 p.m.); Northern Durham at Greenville Conley (Tues. 7 p.m.)
Orange at Fayetteville Sanford (Tues., 7 p.m.); Northern Guilford at Lee County; Pikeville Aycock at Hampstead Topsail; Wilson Fike at Cardinal Gibbons (Tues., 5 p.m.)
Siler City Jordan-Matthews at Midway; North Johnston at Fairmont (Tues., 7 p.m.); West Bladen at Croatan; North Lenoir at South Granville
Perquimans at Whitville; Spring Creek at Durham Voyager (Tues., 7); West Columbus at Camden; North Duplin at Rosewood
Broughton at Winterville Conley (Tues., 6 p.m.); Holly Springs at Wilmington Hoggard (Wed., 7 p.m.); Leesville Road at Panther Creek (Wed., 6 p.m.); Southern Alamance at Fuquay-Varina (Wed., 6:30 p.m.)
Burlington Williams at Fayetteville Sanford; Swansboro at Wilson Fike; Northern Guilford at Cardinal Gibbons (Wed., 7 p.m.); Jacksonville White Oak at Jacksonville
Franklinton at Carrboro (Wed., 7 p.m.); N.C. Science & Math at Trinity; Roanoke Rapids at Dixon; Midway at First Flight
Woods Charter at Raleigh Charter; Franklin Academy at East Carteret; Lejeune at Spring Creek; Manteo at Whiteville
Heritage at Fayetteville Cape Fear (Tues., 7 p.m.); Harnett Central at Winterville Conley; Panther Creek at Apex (Tues., 7 p.m.); Fuquay-Varina at South Central Pitt (Tues., 7 p.m.)
South Johnston at Pikeville Aycock (Tues., 6 p.m.); Erwin Triton at Hampstead Topsail; Swansboro at Lee County; Southwestern Randolph at Northern Guilfod
South Granville at Siler City Jordan-Matthews; North Johnston at South Lenoir (Tues., 7 p.m.); Wilson Beddingfield at North Brunswick; Currituck at Bunn
Princeton at Northside (Tues., 6 p.m.); Whiteville at Rocky Point Trask; North Duplin at Granville Central; Riverside at Perquimans
Apex at Middle Creek (Tues., 6:30 p.m.); Charlotte Catholic at Winston-Salem Reynolds
Cedar Ridge at Cardinal Gibbons (Tues., 7:45 p.m.); Northern Guilford at Marvin Ridge
Wilmington Hoggard at Cardinal Gibbons (Tues., 6 p.m.); Southeast Guilford at Lake Norman