• 54°

Prep tennis: Lexington 5, Salisbury 4

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
LEXINGTON ó The six members of Salisbury’s lineup formed a circle as they stood on a Bingham Tennis Center court before the start of doubles, and Wes McNeely sprang forward to chest-bump 6-foot-6 teammate Alex Weant.
The Hornets almost elevated their play enough to pull off a stirring comeback victory.
Salisbury, needing a doubles sweep to stay alive in the 2A playoffs, fell 5-4 at rival Lexington in second-round action Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets advanced to a state quarterfinal matchup with Ledford, the CCC’s other tri-champion.
McNeely-Seth Gentry won 10-4 against Filiepe Sanchez-Adam McKerlie at No. 3, and the pairing of Weant-Steven Page was well on its way to a 10-3 victory against Charles Chisholm-Alan Heiss as a tight match at No. 1 concluded.
Lexington’s Justin Miller-Charlie Jordan claimed the final three games in a 10-8 win against Austin Flynn-Alan Lebowitz to clinch the team victory for the Yellow Jackets (12-2) in their third 5-4 thriller with Salisbury (13-4) this year.
“Having to sweep doubles is certainly a daunting task, but at some point in the first two matches every one of our doubles teams out there had success and had won a match, if not two in the case of our No. 1 team, against Lexington,” Salisbury coach Chris Myers said. “With that being said, 4-2 is difficult, but I certainly thought it was realistic. It almost worked out for us.”
The teams split during the season, and Salisbury also trailed 4-2 entering doubles in the match it lost on March 17. Flynn-Lebowitz swept Miller-Jordan, but the Lexington tandem prevailed in the CCC tournament final.
Flynn-Lebowitz fell behind 3-1 in the 10-game pro set Wednesday, took six of the next seven games and then dropped six of the final seven.
“You have to play doubles with those guys, come in, kamikaze, keep charging, keep coming in off everything whether it’s a smart shot or not, to get them out of their element,” Lexington coach Varner Sink said. “Hopefully we’ll get them in our territory, which is a tight, quick-response, reaction-type tennis. We tend to do better like that.”
Flynn-Lebowitz led 7-4 before Lexington stormed back to even the score. Lebowitz held serve for an 8-7 edge.
Miller-Jordan took 12 of the final 13 points, with each player holding serve at love.
“(Jordan) stopped making any mistakes whatsoever and was serving big,” Myers said. “Justin was serving big throughout the match as well. Sometimes Charlie can be a bit streaky, but when he settles down, he’s as good as anybody in the conference, singles or doubles. I think he certainly demonstrated that in the latter part of the match.”
Salisbury’s only singles wins came from Page (6-4, 7-5 over Miller at No. 1) and Weant (6-2, 6-2 over McKerlie at No. 6).
The Yellow Jackets jumped ahead thanks to victories from Jordan (6-3, 6-1 over Flynn at No. 2) and Heiss (6-4, 6-1 over Gentry at No. 4).
Weant was the first Salisbury player to scratch, and Sanchez followed with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win against McNeely at No. 5. Page’s victory preceded Chisholm’s 6-2, 6-3 decision against the previously unbeaten Lebowitz at No. 3.
Page, who won the 2A Midwest Regional singles title Saturday, lost a pair of third-set tiebreakers to Miller during the regular season.
The second set Wednesday was tied at 4-all before Page broke at love, and he went ahead 40-0 on his serve to earn three match points. Miller won the next five points to break back.
Page earned another break in the next game and clinched the victory with a crisp forehand winner.
“I got tight there at the end,” Page said. “I was able to break him the next game and relaxed some and was able to close it out. I was just really happy there because, after winning regionals, I really didn’t want to lose another singles match to him even though he’s good. The third time was the charm.”
 
 
 

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight