Carrboro and Raleigh Charter won N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A and 1A boys dual-team championships on Saturday while Cardinal Gibbons lost to Marvin Ridge in a four-hour match that came down to a tiebreaker in the final double match.
Marvin Ridge of Waxhaw “outlasted” the Crusaders in the very definition of the word on an 87-degree Saturday afternoon at the Burlington Tennis Center.
The Mavericks’ doubles team of John Hatala and Avanish Madhavaram edged Gibbons’ Matt Galush and Jim Mantyh 7-3 in the tiebreaker. Galush and Mantyh had fought back from 6-3 and 9-7 deficits to force the tiebreaker in the longest doubles match of the day, lasting 1:25.
“It’s tough to lose that way, but I’m proud of my guys for giving it their best and fighting back,” Gibbons coach Andrew Tuttle said. “We were playing from behind, especially in the last match.”
Mantyh, who was cramping in doubles, had already played the longest singles match when he fell to Hatala in 2:20 at No. 2, 6-4, 7-5. Tuttle found the junior alone in a distant corner after doubles and tried to console him.
“You gave it everything you had,” he told him, shaking his hand.
Gibbons and Ridge split the six singles matches to enter doubles tied. Galush, a Penn State-bound senior, won at No. 1, 6-2, 6-1; senior Kyle Fitzgerald won in 2:10 at No. 5, 5-7, 6-3, (10-3); and senior Louie Velasco won at No. 6, 6-2, 1-6.
After a 30-minute break, doubles play started with Fitzgerald and Velasco winning first at No. 3, 10-7, for a 4-3 lead. But Ridge’s No. 2 team of George Lovitt and Woody Watson tied the score 4-4 with a 10-5 win.
Then all eyes turned to the No. 1 doubles match that featured spectacular shots from all four players.
Gibbons (22-5) had won four straight 3A titles, including a 6-0 win over Ridge last year in the final. Ridge finished at 17-0.
Carrboro wins 2A
Carrboro (14-1) defeated Brevard (16-1) in the 2A final for the second straight year. The Jaguars won 5-2 with depth, scoring points from the bottom four singles players and the decisive team point at No. 3 doubles.
Sophomore Jason Wykoff won his No. 6 singles match 6-1, 6-1 and then teamed with junior Sean Ross to win No. 3 doubles, 10-3. Once they clinched their team point, there was no need to complete the other two doubles matches.
“The plan was just to see who could finish first,” said Wykoff of a meeting among the three doubles teams. “We wanted to try our hardest and win quickly.”
The Jaguars were favored once the match went to doubles after last week’s all-Carrboro final in state doubles tournament. Wykoff and Ross were the runner-up to teammates Max Fritsch and Brian Freiburghouse, the Jaguars’ No. 1 team.
Carborro’s other team points came from freshman Zach Anderson at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2; junior Jake Zinn at No. 4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; and freshman Andre Javan at No. 5, 7-5, 6-2.
Raleigh Charter claims 1A
After Raleigh Charter lost last year’s state final, it was fitting the Phoenix’s only two seniors in this year’s starting lineup, Cole Esleeck and Dennis Smith, clinched the school’s first state tennis title for a 5-2 team score over Mooresville Pine Lake Prep (12-2).
“We just wanted to get it ourselves as the senior captains,” Smith said.
Raleigh Charter (11-0) led 4-2 after singles before Esleeck and Smith decided the match with a 10-5 win at No. 3 doubles. Esleeck and Smith also contributed singles points with Esleeck winning at No. 5, 6-1, 7-5, and Smith at No. 6, 6-4, 6-1.
“To come back this year is the best feeling in the world,” Esleeck said.
Charter’s other two singles points were from freshman Joseph Fisher at No. 3, 6-4, 6-2, and freshman Harrison Tseng at No. 4, 6-2, 6-4.