BURLINGTON – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s 24th annual state men’s dual team tennis championships will come to the Burlington Tennis Center on Saturday, although the pairings are not yet finalized.
Heavy rain forced postponement of several of the state semifinal matches, so five of those are set to be played today with the winners advancing to the state championship.
All four classification championships are scheduled for Saturday, with the 2-A and 3-A classifications starting at 9:30 a.m. and then the 1-A and 4-A beginning at 12:30 p.m.
In the 2-A championship, Brevard (18-0) will take on the winner of the Eastern final between Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math (16-0) or Carrboro (14-2). NCSSM was the 1-A runner-up a year ago and moved up to 2-A in the new realignment while Carrboro has been the second-place finisher in the 2-A tournament the past two years.
Brevard is in the finals for the second time, with its only other appearance in 2006. Brevard beat three perennial tennis powers en route to the championship match, including Salisbury, Shelby and then Newton-Conover in the regionals. Joseph Schrader of Brevard made it to the state semifinals in singles.
The other 9:30 am match is in the 3-A classification as Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (24-4) plays either Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (17-2) or Weddington (19-5).
Gibbons beat Chapel Hill in a regional final Thursday that moved indoors. Robert Kelly of Gibbons won the state singles championship last Saturday for the second year in row, and the Gibbons doubles team of Matt Galush and Noah Constantine also won a second consecutive state crown. The Crusaders have captured the last three 3-A dual team championships.
The 4-A match at 12:30 will send Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds (22-1) against either unbeaten Raleigh Wakefield (21-0) or Raleigh Millbrook (15-5).
R.J. Reynolds is in the finals for the sixth consecutive year and earned state championships in 2010, ’11 and ’12. Reynolds downed Charlotte Ardrey Kell in a Thursday match to advance. Bennett Crane of R.J. Reynolds lost to eventual state singles champ Bo Boyden of Wakefield in the state semifinals.
Wakefield, the 2012 runner-up in its only other title appearance, had a stellar showing in last weekend’s individual tournament. Boyden won the singles championship and was the 2013 4-A singles runner-up. The doubles state championship was an all-Wakefield matchup, as the team of Jensen Martin and Phil Lauture defeated Wakefield teammates Andrew Belonga and Nico Grewe in a grueling three-set final, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
The other 12:30 final is for the 1-A championship, and no team has yet qualified for the championship. The state semifinal matches today are Durham Voyager Academy(8-3) against Raleigh Charter (11-0) while in the West Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (12-0) will battle Mooresville Pine Lake Prep (12-0).
The Bishop McGuinness doubles team of Sam McLaughry and Zack Jones took the state title in 1-A doubles.
The North Carolina Tennis Foundation is one of the event sponsors of the championship.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
24th ANNUAL DUAL TEAM TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Burlington Tennis Center, Burlington
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Class 1-A: Durham Voyager Academy (8-3) or Raleigh Charter (11-0) vs. Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (12-0) or Mooresville Pine Lake Prep (12-0), 12:30 pm
Class 2-A: Brevard (18-0) vs. Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math (16-0) or Carrboro (14-2), 9:30 a.m.
Class 3-A: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (24-4) vs. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (17-2) or Weddington (19-5), 9:30 am
Class 4-A: Raleigh Millbrook (15-5) or Raleigh Wakefield (21-0) vs. Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds (22-1)
Event: NCHSAA men’s dual team tennis state championships
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Site: Burlington Tennis Center, Burlington
First Held: 1991
Qualifiers: Eastern and Western champions meet for state title; 32 schools qualified for playoffs in each classification except 1-A (24)
Defending champions: 1-A: Elkin; 2-A: Shelby; 3-A: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons; 4-A: Raleigh Millbrook
Of Interest: A total of 51 different schools have played for the state title in the previous 23 years of this championship, with Raleigh Broughton and East Chapel Hill leading the way with 12 trips to the finals.