It was just another Moody Monday for the Millbrook boys tennis team on the home court of their Cap-8 4A Conference rival Wakefield.
That’s because twin brothers Matthew and Michael Moody turned in huge victories, one in doubles and the other in singles, that swayed a tense match that ended in a 5-4 Wildcats’ victory.
Michael rallied from an 8-6 deficit in a third-set tiebreaker to defeat Wakefield’s Lake Ihly at No. 3 singles. The result sent the two teams who have combined for the last three 4A state titles into doubles knotted up at 3-3.
There, after Michael and freshman Alex Crabtree teamed up for an 8-0 victory at No. 3 doubles, Matthew and teammate Mohamed Almontaser rallied came back from a 4-1 deficit to top the Wolverines’ duo of Blake Carter and Michael Portera 8-6 to clinch the victory.
Fifth-ranked Millbrook (13-2, 12-2) claimed second place in the Cap-8 one game behind Enloe.
The loss dropped two-time defending state champion No. 6 Wakefield (13-3, 11-3) to third and puts them at the mercy of a wild-card bid, which is determined by best overall record by teams without automatic teams.
Michael Moody’s comeback in singles.
After falling behind 8-6, he was able to come up three winners before Ihly’s return on match point went into the net.
“I knew I was tired coming in,” Michael said. “I had played a lot this last week. But I knew mentally, I was stronger, and I knew I could outlast him.”
Wakefield head coach Ken Stewart bluntly put it: “We win four in singles, we win that match.
“Good on him for coming back. It was 10-8, so one point here, one point there swings it. You have to love it. You can’t beat that feeling.”
In Matthew Moody and Almontaser’s win in doubles, the pair was up 40-30 when Almontaser’s serve was just long to nearly end the match on an ace.
Moody protested for a moment, but soon relented.
On the next point, a return came back meekly from the other side, and Moody pounced with a smashing winner before screaming and pumping his fists wildly.
“It was pure adrenaline,” he said. “And a little bit of anger. (Wakefield) beat us in the semis the past two years. We won the state title when I was a freshman. We want to get back.”
The Cap-8 individual tournament is Tuesday and Wednesday at Millbrook Exchange Park.
After that, it’s the 4A duals on May 3.
“I think we are peaking at the right time,” Millbrook head coach Craig Isdahl said. “With the doubles we’ve had, and with singles play picking up, the momentum is starting to flow.”
A wild-card could put Wakefield, ranked sixth in the state, up against No. 1 Panther Creek or No. 4 Enloe.
“It would be a major upset if we don’t get in,” Stewart said. “Last year, teams with four losses got in.
“We do know we finished third, but who knows which draw is better?”