• 55°

Prep Tennis: Salisbury's Ogden wins 2A singles championship

By Ryan Bisesi
rbisesi@salisburypost.com
CARY — Be it the PA announcer from the track meet at nearby Green Hope High or commercial jets preparing to land at Raleigh Durham International, rattling the head of Salisbury’s Michael Ogden was inevitable Saturday at the NCHSAA state 2A individual championships.
As long as the freshman’s right arm was OK, everything else was background noise.
The freshman shook off initial jitters and set the stage for glory, winning Salisbury’s first individual state title since Eric Saunders’ third straight in 1993 on Saturday at Cary Tennis Park.
Ogden wasn’t born yet in 1993, but he came alive with the type of day he has made standard.
In the semifinal, Ogden beat Shelby’s Ray Webb Parker 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 in a grueling match that was too intense for 9 a.m. on a Saturday. South Iredell’s Patrick Hensley reached the final for the second-straight year and Ogden prevailed 6-4, 6-0. Except for the nerves, it was a very un-freshman-like performance.
“I was nervous and he came out on fire,” said a more relaxed Ogden with a state title plaque wrapped around his arm. “He was pounding the ball and I wasn’t playing my best. After the first set, I told myself not to quit.”
“Of course, he’s 15, there’s going to be some nerves,” Salisbury coach Chris Stroupe said. “Going against a very, very good player to start off with, he told me was nervous.”
Parker was on the verge of a three-set victory, building leads of 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4. Ogden didn’t surrender.
“He had to overcome a lot of difficult shots from Parker,” Stroupe said. “I think he just was able to work through them with different ideas, different scenarios.”
Ogden tied it at 5 and scored the final three points en route to improving his record to 24-1 with a dual-team match at Owen next week.
“I’m happy right now,” Ogden said. “Now, we have to focus on team states and maybe get another one.”
There was an hour break between matches with Ogden regrouping and refocusing.
Against Hensley, Ogden overcame the senior’s championship experience to lead through most of the first set, breaking a 4-all tie with the final two points. It was Ogden’s 27th straight win.
“I don’t think you can get much better than him,” Abraham Post said of Ogden.
Ogden beat Parker 6-3, 6-4 in a regular season match on March 27. Parker was feistier this time, taking the first set 6-1. Ogden returned the favor with a 6-1 win in the second set to force a third.
“I started moving my feet more and hitting the ball better,” Ogden said. “I started getting more in the flow of things.”
The matchup carries more intrigue with the two potentially clashing in the dual-team West Region final. If each team wins its third-round playoff match, Salisbury would travel to Shelby.

Post, a freshman, and senior Alan Lebowitz reached the semifinal and were downed 6-1, 6-2 by Newton-Conover’s doubles team of Ryan Lampe/John Tate. Lampe and Tate won the doubles championship as Newton-Conover claimed doubles for the third year in a row.
“They caught us on a day where we weren’t playing our best and it didn’t work out for us,” Lebowitz said.
“I think today’s a really good experience,” Post said. “I’m going to carry it with me the next few years.”
Post/Lebowitz defeated Owen team of Oscar Zamora/Ben Keefer 6-1, 6-4 and Pittsboro Northwood’s Chris Cole/Zafer Estill 6-3, 6-2 Friday to make all-state. Lebowitz, playing in the state final for the third-straight year, reached a goal with the distinction.
“I’m really excited we made it this far,” Lebowitz said. “It’s been a goal of mine since I was a freshman.”

NOTES: Ogden won the Midwest Region singles crown and Lebowitz/Post won the doubles title. … Rowan County produced yet another champion in Chad Hoskins, who lives in Spencer but attends Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. He teamed with Paul Yamane to win the 4A doubles crown beating Greensboro Grimsley’s Will Albright and Graham Pearson 6-3, 6-1.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransom

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday