Eastern Wake: Sports

East Wake boys tennis stays on track with win over Knightdale

East Wake No. 2 seed Jake Clement chases down a backhand in the singles portion of the Warriors’ match against Knightdale High in Knightdale, N.C. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
East Wake No. 2 seed Jake Clement chases down a backhand in the singles portion of the Warriors’ match against Knightdale High in Knightdale, N.C. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. amoody@newsobserver.com

The East Wake boys tennis team continued on its war path toward a second-place finish in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference as it ran the table against Knightdale on Wednesday.

The Warriors (9-2) had lost 6-3 on Monday to Garner, splitting the series with the team Glasgow expected since the season’s start to be battling for the No. 2 spot in the league. Clayton is expected to go undefeated in the GNRC this season.

Second place earns a guarantee to compete in the state dual team playoffs at the conclusion of the regular season.

Glasgow thinks a tie with Garner, with each school finishing at 11-3 in the conference, is likely. Any tie will be settled by a drawing, something the Warriors are no stranger to.

“We’ve drawn the past two seasons and didn’t get the No. 2 seed, but got into the dual team (playoffs) as a wild card,” Glasgow said.

On the eve of the midway point in the conference season, Glasgow’s outlook has shifted from team goals to seeding goals.

“It starts to focus more on individuals with the upcoming conference tournament, and individual and doubles regionals,” he said.

He hopes to match last season, when the Warriors qualified all six of their league tournament contestants – two doubles teams and two singles players – for the regional competition.

The Knightdale team is largely a fusion of players of all high school ages who are learning the game.

The Knights got their lone win of the season over Rolesville on March 18.

“That was huge,” said Knightdale coach Jermod Mapp. “That first win is the one you’re always searching for and it got the guys back enthused about playing.”

Mapp said he is seeing improvement with the team but he is more focused on teaching the game and building better young men.

“It’s something they can carry into their 60s or however long,” Mapp said. “It’s about having fun. We probably have the most fun out of any team in the conference.”

The Knights’ spirits remained high as East Wake cruised to its 9-0 win Wednesday.

In singles, East Wake’s ace Will Clement won 6-0, 6-2 over Dominic Cao, Jake Clement topped Kam Ballen in straight sets at No. 2 and Brooks Stancil won 6-2, 6-1 over Knightdale’s Will Snow on court No. 3.

East Wake’s Lane Adams pulled a 6-4, 6-0 win over Andre Willis in No. 4 singles, Josh Hatley defeated David Nguyen in the closest match of the day (6-4, 6-3) at No. 5, and Will D’Allaird knocked off Josh Gordon 6-1, 6-0 to keep the sweep alive heading into the doubles round.

The Clement brothers won 8-1 over Cao and Snow in the top doubles match, Adams and Stancil defeated Ballen and Willis (8-2) in No. 2 doubles and D’Allaird and Hatley defeated Gordon and Nguyen, 8-1, on court No. 3.

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