Prep Tennis Playoffs: Salisbury 5, Maiden 1
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — Salisbury freshman Michael Ogden had the talent to make his second-round match with Maiden’s Zack Huffman quick on Thursday.
It’s a good thing since he had to hit the road to face the same opponent in 18 hours. Rain postponed the match twice in a week to cause scheduling issues, but Ogden wasn’t fazed.
“I feel pretty confident,” Ogden said. “He’s a good player and plays in a lot of tournaments.”
Not too long after defeating Maiden 5-1 in the second-round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs, Ogden and the doubles team of Alan Lebowitz/Abraham Post were off to Cary for the state individual championships, which start bright and early today at Cary Tennis Center.
Then on Tuesday, the agenda calls for traveling roughly three hours to Owen for their third-round playoff duel.
Life on the road beckons for the 15-3 Hornets, who beat Mount Airy in Round 1.
“To come off of two days of not being able to practice, I think we did a really good job,” Salisbury coach Chris Stroupe said. “They were intense. They challenged themselves and worked hard at it.”
Salisbury won this one in singles for its ninth straight win since a loss to Shelby. The top five singles players won for the Hornets including Ogden, Lebowitz, Post, Brock Overcash and Clint Comadoll.
“To have the leadership behind [Ogden] with Alan and having that there has helped him out,” Stroupe said. “He’s done a very good job handling that No. 1 position.”
At No. 2 singles, Lebowitz defeated Jarrod Mitchell 7-5, 6-1.
Ogden defeated Huffman 6-2, 6-2 to improve his record to 24-1 with 23 consecutive wins. The two will do battle again in the championships today. Lebowitz/Post will see Oscar Zamona/Ben Keefer from Owen.
“I really hope for both our guys to get to Saturday,” Stroupe said. “I would love for both to win states. We’re in a really good group of guys.”
Ogden won the midwest region singles crown and Lebowitz/Post won the doubles title.
Post defeated Zach Koch 6-3, 6-2 and No. 4 Overcash topped 6-4, 6-1. Comadoll edged Yeng Yang 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.
“Most of the season our No. 1’s been able to get a win,” Maiden coach Jon Huffman said. “We knew that was going to be tough today with their No. 1. We just got beaten by the better team.”
The Blue Devils finished up 16-4. A.J. Key was the lone Maiden player to win, defeating Chris Derrick 6-0, 6-0.
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