Red Devils repeat as 2A tennis champs

After 24 wins and a fifth straight state 2A title match appearance, the Red Devils would not be denied.

Newton-Conover (25-2) stormed to its second straight 2A dual team state championship in Burlington on Saturday, marking the first time a team repeated as a state champion in school history.

“We are all pretty happy about getting the second title and making some history for our program and school,” said N-C coach Brian Tate. “Unlike some of the big schools, we don’t have kids coming to us that have been playing since toddlers. All of our kids started playing in middle school. That goes to show you just how hard these kids have worked over the years to gain this kind of success.”

The Red Devils won the titles in convincing fashion over Durham School of the Arts (16-6), 6-0.

Newton-Conover didn’t have an opportunity to play doubles, which is one of the team’s strongest assets this season.

The Red Devils won all six of their singles matches in straight sets. DSA won 15 of 87 games played in those matches.

The most impressive of the performances was a 6-0, 6-0 victory by Ryan Lampe over DSA’s Robbie Tepperberg.

Coming off of a big match in the state semifinals, freshman Tyler Barrymore carried that momentum to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Charles Realabit.

Hang Lak Choi added a second dual team state title to his individual doubles state championship trophy he won with Lampe last week. Choi won his match 6-3, 6-1 over Emerson Ellis.

As for a comparison of last year’s title to this seasons, coach Tate said the feeling is different.

“We were much more excited last year because we had finally won it after losing the previous three times. So that rush is hard to duplicate,” Tate said. “However, this one was harder to get to because of the quality of teams we had to fight through to get to Burlington to begin with. So there is real feeling of satisfaction since we had more doubters this year.”