Holly Springs’ Chris Gold and Apex’s Roberto Mares knew they were the last singles match to finish in Wednesday’s Southwest Wake Athletic Conference boys tennis match, but they didn’t know that the final result was going to be the deciding team point.
Gold, which lost the first set, won the second one and a 10-point third-set tiebreaker to spring the Golden Hawks to a 5-4 victory. Gold won 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 to keep the Golden Hawks undefeated since the return from spring break.
“I didn’t know,” Gold said. “Third-set tiebreak is the way I go because I had to do one yesterday against Fuquay. I guess 10-to-4 is the magic number. We’re starting our ‘revenge tour.’”
Holly Springs had dropped a 6-3 decision to Apex on March 7.
The No. 2 and 3 doubles matches ended quickly, with Apex’s Liam Fulling and Jack Cicin winning at No. 2 8-1 and Holly Springs’ Graham Carter and Hunter Chaney winning at No. 3 8-1.
This allowed for both teams to gather around for a back-and-forth No. 1 doubles match between Holly Springs’ Grant Miller and Siddharth Vasisht and Apex’s Ani Iyer and Roberto Mares. The match, which lasted over an hour, gave the Cougars a crucial point after pulling ahead from a 7-6 deficit to win 9-7.
Holly Springs earned singles points thanks to Miller, who won at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-2; Carter at No. 4 – 6-3, 6-4; and Chaney in a comeback at No. 5 – 4-6, 6-3, 10-7
“The biggest improvement we’ve had is in intensity. It’s there in every point and they don’t let one mistake get them down as much,” Holly Springs coach Brandon Rhodes said. “We’ve done much better in tiebreakers and that’s mental toughness, being able to dig in during the third set and get it done. This isn’t a match we win even one week ago.”
Apex’s Fulling took No. 3 singles 4-6, 6-4, 10-2 and Davis Kay won at No. 6 – 6-1, 6-1.
“Today’s match was a real good, competitive match for both sides,” Apex coach Lynn Thomas said. “When you play a match and you have three go to tiebreakers, the match could’ve gone either way. All of the nine matches were extremely competitive and fun for everybody.”