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Opening its state title defense, the Newton-Conover tennis team made a statement Tuesday.
The Red Devils (21-2) swept visiting Pisgah and only dropped seven of a combined 109 points in those matches. Newton-Conover won 72 of 78 points in its singles matches and 30 of 31 points in doubles matches.
â€śPisgah was a wild card team,â€ť said Red Devilsâ€™ coach Brian Tate. â€śWe know what is coming up next. That is Salisbury, a team we play in the western finals last year. Iâ€™m just trying to get these guys a little more focused. Matches like this donâ€™t feel like a playoff match sometimes.â€ť
Among the impressive performances were from John Reid and Tyler Barrymore.
Both tennis players swept their singles matches 6-0, 6-0. They teamed in doubles to earn a 10-0 sweep against Pisgahâ€™s Jacob Britt and Brian Hall.
â€śThis was a good start for us as a team,â€ť Reid said. â€śYou have to start somewhere. We just need to build on this for our next match against Salisbury.â€ť
Barrymore said the team has its sights set on another 2A title, which would be the first back-to-back boysâ€™ tennis titles in school history.
â€śThis has been our goal all year,â€ť Barrymore said. â€śWe just want to keep going and win two in a row.â€ť
Reid said the longer breaks between matches at the end of the season should help them regroup and take things a little easier than the regular season.
â€śWe get to work in practice and prepare for those next matches,â€ť Reid said. â€śWe do that instead playing two or three matches in a week.â€ť
With an easy sweep over Pisgah, the Red Devils brace for what will be the toughest part of their schedule.
Potential match-ups in the next three rounds include Salisbury, Brevard and Shelby. All three teams rank inside the top five in the 2A rankings.
â€śThe biggest thing we are fighting right now is taking for granted the success weâ€™ve had,â€ť Tate said. â€śIf any of these teams catch us on a bad day, weâ€™ll be done. We canâ€™t assume we are going to make it to the state finals. We have got to prepare mentally before these upcoming matches so we make sure we get there. We canâ€™t come out asleep. The main thing we are fighting is our own success.â€ť
Hang Lak Choi (N-C) def. Michael Slaughter (Pisgah) 6-1, 6-0; John Reid (N-C) def. Hunter King (Pisgah) 6-0, 6-0; Austin Adams (N-C) def. Bramon Aughe (Pisgah) 6-0, 6-2; Ryan Lampe (N-C) def. Jacob Britt (Pisgah) 6-0, 6-1; John Tate (N-C) def. Hunter Wike (Pisgah) 6-1, 6-1; Tyler Barrymore (N-C) def. Brian Hall (Pisgah) 6-0, 6-0.
Choi-Lampe def. King-Aughe 10-0; Adams-Tate def. Slaughter-Blake Owenby (Pisgah) 10-1; Reid-Barrymore def. Britt-Hall 10-0.View more articles in: