High School Sports

Triangle sweeps NCHSAA boys tennis championships: Enloe, Clayton, Carrboro and Raleigh Charter prevail

Clayton’s Jake Granger returns a volley in his singles tennis match against Smithfield-Selma’s Tim Jones on March 17, 2016.
Clayton’s Jake Granger returns a volley in his singles tennis match against Smithfield-Selma’s Tim Jones on March 17, 2016. newsobserver.com

It was a banner day for Triangle high school tennis on Saturday.

All four area teams came away with N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team boys tennis championships, winning matches held at the Piedmont Tennis Center in Greensboro. The state finals were originally scheduled for the outdoor courts at the Burlington Tennis Center, but an all-day rainy forecast pushed the matches elsewhere.

Thirteen years removed from his last state championship team, coach Steve Spivey has won another title. This time it came at Enloe.

The Eagles captured their first state tennis crown, dethroning Charlotte's Myers Park 5-1 to end the year undefeated at 20-0. Spivey now has 21 NCHSAA titles (nine girls tennis).

MVP Rohan Sachdev won at No. 1 singles (6-3, 6-2), and the other Enloe winners were: No. 3 Ethan Saber (6-2, 6-2), No. 4 Nathan Griffith (6-3, 5-7 [10-3]), No. 5 Revanth Bobba (4-6, 6-1 [10-4]) and No. 6 Naveen Reddy (6-1, 6-1). Michael Ogundele fell at No. 2 (6-2, 7-5) in the lone point for Myers Park (17-1).

Johnston County history was already made just by Clayton making to Saturday's state championship. But the Comets added to it by winning the 3A title in dominating fashion to complete a perfect 19-0 season.

Clayton downed previously undefeated Asheville 5-1, thanks in part to going 2-for-3 in tiebreaker sets against the Cougars (18-1), to become the first team in county history to either make it to the boys tennis championship or win it.

At No. 1 singles, match MVP Banks Evans won a third-set tiebreak (6-4, 3-6, [10-7]) as did Sam Jones at No. 2 (6-2, 5-7, [10-4]). Foster Evans won at No. 3 (6-2, 6-4) as did Jacob Granger at No. 5 (6-3, 6-3) and Dillon Hyde at No. 6 (6-1, 6-0). At No. 4, Christopher Riley fell in the other third-set match, 6-7 (7-4), 6-0 [10-8].

Raleigh Charter became the fourth team in state history to win four straight titles, taking the 1A crown 5-1 over Lincoln Charter to tie the NCHSAA mark. No team has ever won five in a row, but the Phoenix (17-1) will get their shot next year.

Arya Battula, playing No. 4 singles, was the MVP of the match for his 6-2, 6-3 win. No. 1 Harrison Tseng won 6-2, 6-0, Joseph Fisher won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2, Arjun Juneja won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 and Ranbir Pal won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6. Griffin Whalen fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to give Lincoln Charter (16-1) its only team point.

Carrboro won its third 2A title in the last four years with a 5-2 victory over Brevard (15-1). The Jaguars (16-2) picked up four singles wins by No. 2 Andre Javan (7-5, 6-3), No. 5 Cal Baruch (6-1, 6-2), No. 6 John Blobe (6-1, 6-0) and No. 4 Jake Twer, who won 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) [10-6]. No. 1 Zach Anderson fell 6-1, 6-4 and No. 3 Ben Lu lost 6-4, 6-1.

Javan and Anderson, who was named MVP, combined to clinch the match with a 10-2 win at No. 1 doubles.

INDIVIDUAL TENNIS





Panther Creek senior Trice Pickens won the 4A singles title at Millbrook Exchange Park with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Mark Dillon from Myers Park on May 12. Pickens also defeated Dillon in last year's 4A dual-team tennis championship, which Myers Park won 5-4.

Pickens, a Northwestern recruit, defeated Enloe's Sachdev 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals.

The other area state champ came in 2A doubles, where Carrboro's Anderson and Javan rallied after dropping the first set to Sam and Chris Hartzell of Ledford High near Thomasville. Anderson and Javen won 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the title match held at Cary Tennis Park. The duo won their semifinal match 6-2, 6-2 over Matt Wilhelm and Lance Kennedy of Forbush.

In 4A doubles, Cardinal Gibbons' Joe Wayand and Peter Glenn fell in the championship match 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) to Will Crane and Ryan Mangiapane of Hough High in Cornelius. Wayand and Glenn defeated Enloe's Ogundele and Reddy 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinals, while Jordan's Zach Tapper and Davis Cromer also lost in the semis to Crane and Mangiapane, 6-2, 6-3.

In 2A singles, Josh Abrams of the N.C. School of Science and Math was the state runner-up to Brann Reid of Newton-Conover, falling 6-2 6-2.

At the Burlington Tennis Center, Clayton's Jones and Evans were ousted in the semifinals 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 by eventual runner-ups Eric Zhang and Kyle Miller of Northern Guilford.

In 1A doubles, Voyager Academy brothers Ben and Kolbe McQuaid lost in the title match 6-4, 6-7 (7-3), 6-3 to Parker Powell and Jackson Law of Lincoln Charter.

Research Triangle's Ronik Grewal and John Hankinson were eliminated in 1A singles on Friday in the semifinals as were Raleigh Charter doubles teams of Juneja/Whalen and Tseng/Fisher.

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