LAURINBURG — No matter the sport when Scotland and Richmond meet there are bound to be sparks. Thursday’s tennis match between the rivals was no exception.
The two teams made it all the way through their singles matches without incident, but things came to a head on the first doubles court and the match had to be cut short.
Fighting Scots juniors Hunter Edkins and Nate Dubbs were playing Richmond twins Austin and Miles Harrington. Edkins began calling foot faults, which occurs on the serve. The person serving must stand behind the baseline and either foot is allowed to cross the line during the serve, if it does it’s a foot fault and a point for the opposing team.
Frustrations began to rise, so Scots head coach Atondra Ellis stepped in and asked Richmond head coach Patrick Hope to talk to his players and explain why the call was being made.
Tempers could not be calmed as the twins began yelling and being disrespectful towards Ellis and her players. At that point the match was ended with Edkins and Dubbs leading, 5-2.
Ellis said after the match she was proud of how her players remained calm and handled the tense situation.
“Winning is great, but character development is more important,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the conduct and sportsmanship of our Scots. A heartfelt thank you to my team’s parents. These wonderful humans didn’t raise themselves. The support given by them has contributed to the success and fun.”
Prior to the drama, the Scots won five of the six singles matches. Dubbs picked up a two-set victory on court one over Austin Harrington, 6-3, 6-2.
Edkins took on Richmond’s Jimmy Cooley losing the first match 3-6 before bouncing back and forcing a second-set tiebreaker, 7-6. The Scots junior took the tiebreaker 7-5 and went on to win the third set, 10-3.
Scots senior Nyjel Collins-Jackson won his third singles match over Miles Harrington in two sets, 6-0, 6-2. Fellow seniors Ryan Phillips and Sam Poage had to play three sets to beat their Richmond counterparts.
Phillips faced off with Kristofer Spivey and took the first set 6-3 before losing the second set 1-6. In the third set, Phillips closed the door to pick up the 10-6 win.
Poage took on Jose Jaramillo narrowly losing the first set, 5-7 before taking the second set 6-1 to force a third set. Poage pulled off the 10-4 win to keep the sweep alive.
Scots junior Nicholas Murphy lost his sixth singles match to Bradford Pittman in two sets, 2-6, 4-6.
Despite the drama on court one, the Scots other two doubles matches were able to play to completion. Poage and Collins-Jackson beat Cooley and Kevin Campos, 8-4 while Phillips and senior Jason Kang topped Richmond’s Mason Bailey and Caleb Brewer, 8-2.
Scotland ends the regular season with a 12-3 overall record and 12-2 in conference play to finish second in the league while Richmond falls to 6-8 overall and 6-7 in SAC-8 play for fifth place.
The seven SAC-8 teams, Seventy-First did not field a men’s tennis team this season, will play their conference tournament in Lumberton beginning at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24. Round two of the tournament will be held the following day.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]