Carrboro, NCSSM come up short in 1-A, 2-A tennis finals
Coaches often measure success in terms of progress and improvement.
That’s certainly the case for Carrboro boys’ tennis coach Jon Noyes, whose Jaguars extended the NCHSAA 2-A championship match well into doubles competition before falling to reigning champion Shelby 5-3 on Saturday at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro.
A year ago, Shelby (21-0) claimed the title without having to play a point of doubles, 5-1.
“I knew it was going to be very close; I knew it was going to be a very tough match,” Carrboro coach Jon Noyes said. “They are very talented. Their No. 1 player (Marshall Parker) is (ranked) No. 5 in the nation. That’s just an automatic win for them — I don’t care how good my No. 1 player is.
“The No. 2 player (Ray Webb Parker) played No. 1 for them for three years, now he’s playing No. 2 — his younger brother took his place.”
Earlier in the day before rain forced the competition to be moved to indoor facilities, the N.C School of Science and Math struggled after a brief rain delay, winning just one match after leading most of the singles flights in its 5-1 loss to Elkin in the 1-A final at the Burlington Tennis Center.
“We knew they were very strong at one and two, that it was going to be really tough,” NCSSM coach Richard McClenny said. “We figured that we would compete down at the bottom of the lineup.
“The guys were doing really well. We were up on (matches) three, four, five and six when the rain delay came. That was a huge momentum swing in the match.”
As it turned out, Eric Wang gave the Unicorns (16-3) their only victory, beating Ashton Gant 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth flight.
“I’m glad I won,” said Wang, a senior playing his only season of tennis at NCSSM, whose student body only includes juniors and seniors. “Coming in, I knew that I could win. ... We’ve been playing pretty well throughout the season.”
Elkin’s Tyler Macy blanked Jin Kang 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to begin the flood, and Ryan Schell beat NCSSM’s Danny Oh 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2.
The outcome of the match came down to the fifth flight, where Elkin’s Chad Vestal closed out Abhay Qureshi 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 for the championship.
Wang, who is from Greensboro, plans to attend MIT in the fall and study math before a possible career in bio-medical research or economics.
“We’re fortunate that smart kids play tennis,” McClenny said.
Carrboro is fortunate to have two years experience now in state finals, including the 6-2, 6-0 loss by sophomore Max Fritsch to Marshall Parker at No. 1 singles and the 6-2, 6-3 setback by freshman Brian Freidbughouse at No. 2.
“I was really surprised at how my No. 1 and 2 played so well, how well they battled those guys,” Noyes said. “The No. 1 court went on a long time. It was (6-2, 6-0), but that match went on a long time. My No. 2 battled a senior, veteran player very close.”
Carrboro’s singles wins came in flights five and six, where freshman Jacob Zinn beat Charles Dixon 6-1, 6-0 and junior Paul Flournoy topped Aaron Assad 6-2, 6-0.
Shelby gained the championship point at No. 1 doubles, where Marshall Parker and Miles Poage took a 10-5 victory over Fritsch and Freidburghouse. That came after Zinn and Flournoy blew by Assad and Alex Nanney 10-2 in the third flight.
Reflecting on the season, Noyes rattled off accomplishments by the Jaguars.
“There was a couple of close matches at the beginning of the season,” Noyes said. “We lost to Chapel Hill High School when our No. 1 player was sick, and we came back and battled them to a victory (later). Then it was pretty easy. We had a pretty close match with Cedar Ridge, then we dominated them the next two times we played them.
“It was extraordinary, fantastic — a great, great season. I mean, they were 20-2 and we did play some quality teams. We had six players advance into the state individual (tournament); the entire team made it into the state (tournament) — I don’t know of any school ever doing that.”
And looking ahead, Noyes has every reason to expect the success to continue.
“We’re looking very strong for next year, losing one player off our starting lineup,” Noyes said. “Guys worked very hard and played great.
“Shelby, ... we’re going to get them next year. ... We’re excited; we’ve got a tennis program going. Sounds good.”
NCHSAA 2-A FINAL
Shelby 5, Carrboro 3
Marshall Parker (S) d. Max Fritsch 6-2, 6-0; Ray Webb Parker (S) d. Brian Freiburghouse 6-2, 6-3; Will Lutz (S) d. Tanner Roach 6-1, 5-7, (10-2); Miles Poage (S) d. Aaron Hiller 6-3, 6-2; Jacob Zinn (C) d. Charles Dixon 6-1, 6-0; Paul Flournoy (C) d. Aaron Assad 6-2, 6-0.
M. Parker-Poage (S) d. Fritsch-Freiburghouse 10-5; R.W. Parker-Lutz (S) led Roach-Hiller 8-3, match halted; Zinn-Flournoy (C) d. Assad-Alex Nanney 10-2.
NCHSAA 1-A FINAL
Elkin 5, NCSSM 1
Tyler Macy (E) d. Jin Kang 6-0, 6-0; Ryan Schell (E) d. Danny Oh 6-1, 6-1; David Mullin (E) d. Josh Mu 6-4, 6-4; Eric Wang (NCSSM) d. Ashton Gant 7-5, 6-3; Chad Vestal (E) d. Abhay Qureshi 7-6 (7), 6-3; Jacob Lyon (E) d. Russell Aryeetey 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Doubles not played because match had already been decided.