They’re coming up later in the season than head coach Jon Noyes would like, but Carrboro High School’s spring tennis team is finally getting some challenges.
The defending 2A state champion, No. 1-ranked Carrboro is 7-0 so far in a season that got off to a slow start because of rainouts.
Matches against 4A East Chapel Hill, Cary and Middle Creek were canceled because of rain. A postponed match against traditional 4A powerhouse Fayetteville Terry Sanford was moved to April 14.
Thursday afternoon at Chapel Hill, the Jaguars gave up more games (29) in one day than they’d given up in six previous matches combined, but they still won 6-0. Doubles weren’t completed because of lightning in the area.
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“Absolutely, this is our best match so far,” Noyes said as the day’s singles matches were coming to a close. “We really haven’t played anybody decent before this.”
Chapel Hill, 8-2 overall after Thursday’s match, also has been rarely tested this season. Ranked No. 2 in the state’s 3A class, the Tigers have yet to lose more than one singles or doubles match to any Big Eight Conference rival other than to 3A state champion Cardinal Gibbons.
Carrboro represented the Tigers’ third match in four days. Chapel Hill shut out Cedar Ridge 9-0 Monday and blew away Orange 8-1 on Wednesday.
“If Gibbons weren’t in the 3A, then Carrboro could win the 3A state championship,” Chapel Hill head coach Neil Alderman said. “Then again, if Gibbons weren’t in the 3A, then we could win the 3A state championship.”
Chapel Hill swept the singles against Cedar Ridge and Orange, with Bryan Zhang being the only Tiger who didn’t win in straight sets both days. David Mirozoyan, Jared Weber, Tom Kennedy, Daniel Ferreria, Lucas Prata, Patrick Dayton, Rohan Reddy and Sam Kennedy each played at least one singles against Cedar Ridge or Orange — yielding just 25 games total in 10 singles matches.
Things were different Thursday. Carrboro’s Max Fritsch, Brian Freiburghouse, Zach Anderson, Jake Zinn and Andre Javan each won in straight sets against their CHHS opponent. Jason Wykoff had to win a third-set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles to get past Lucas Prata after splitting the first two sets 7-5, 3-6.
“They are just better than we are, right now,” Alderman said without a trace of self-pity.
Next up: Chapel Hill is scheduled to play Monday at Northern Vance. Its rematch with the Jaguars is up in the air; originally scheduled for Wednesday at Carrboro, that one might have to get bumped so Carrboro can complete a conference match with Reidsville.
Carrboro’s match with Terry Sanford was still on the books for Monday, and then a showdown with Cardinal Gibbons is slated for 4 p.m. Thursday at Carrboro.