LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots tennis team is heading to regionals — twice.
The team qualified for the dual team tournament after finishing second in the conference behind Pinecrest. Following the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday the Fighting Scots will also send five players to regionals as individuals.
Senior Ryan Phillips finished fourth in the tournament in the singles bracket to qualify. The Scots two doubles teams, juniors Nate Dubbs and Hunter Edkins finished third while seniors Sam Poage and Nyjel Collins-Jackson finished fifth, to qualify also.
Scots head coach Atondra Ellis gave her players and parents a chance to express how they have felt about the season.
“It’s been a very successful season and it’s been a pleasure to play along side such amazing teammates, especially with all the support from our coach and parents,” said Dubbs.
Sherry Phillips, Ryan’s mother, said the development of the tennis program at Scotland has been very exciting.
In the single’s bracket, Phillips earned the No. 4 seed overall and took on Lumberton’s Quinton Frederick in the first round. Also playing singles for Scotland were junior Nicholas Murphy and freshman Tra Brunson.
Murphy was paired up against Pinecrest’s Louis Watson while Brunson faced off with Richmond’s Brad Pittman.
Phillips and Murphy won their respective matches and advanced to the second round. Phillips topped Frederick in two sets, 6-2, 6-3 while Murphy downed Watson, 6-3, 6-1. Brunson lost to Pittman in two sets, 6-1, 6-0 to end his season.
In the second round, Phillips played Richmond’s Kristofer Spivey while Murphy played Jack Britt’s Jason Chay.
Phillips and Spivey played three sets to determine a winner, as Phillips pulled of the victory, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Murphy lost to Chay, who finished second in the singles bracket, in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. In the consolation bracket, Murphy took on Spivey and lost in three sets, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 to end his tournament run.
In the third round, Phillips faced off with Chay for a chance to play in the singles championship against Pinecrest’s Aidan Temple. Phillips gave Chay a hard fight, but lost in two sets, 6-4, 6-0.
Phillips three victories and fourth-place finish qualified him to advance to the 4A individual regionals.
Poage and Collins-Jackson earned the No. 2 seed in the doubles bracket and opened their tournament run against Jack Britt’s Jevon White and Dylan Freeman. The Scots earned a three-set victory over the Buccaneers, 7-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The duo then took on friends in Richmond’s Jimmy Cooley and Kevin Campos, which proved to be their downfall. Poage and Collins-Jackson slacked off a little too much and the Raiders pair took advantage earning the three-set win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
In the consolation bracket, the two seniors played back-to-back matches against Pinecrest. In their first match they saw Cody Stokes and Jesse Meacham and earned the two-set win, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a game against Will Blackwood and Lucas Clark in the fifth-place match. The Scotland seniors buckled down and got the win, 6-1, 6-3, to punch their ticket to regionals — for the second year in a row.
Edkins and Dubbs earned No. 3 seed and played a rematch of last week’s regular season finale against Richmond’s Austin and Miles Harrington.
After Scotland jumped out to a 5-0 lead, the foursome requested line judges be brought in because foot faults were being called. When the two teams played last week in their season finales foot faults became an issue that caused the match to be ended early.
To ensure a fair game was called Pinecrest head coach Gail Deese and Hoke head coach Nelson James acted as line judges.
Edkins and Dubbs won the match, 6-0, 6-2 and went on to play Pinecrest’s Blackwood and Clark. The Scots juniors made quick work of the Patriots winning in two sets, 6-3, 6-3. Edkins and Dubbs then played a rematch against Pinecrest’s Will Bode and Charlie Hodges and lost to the eventual doubles champions in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Despite the loss, Edkins and Dubbs still finished the double’s tournament in third place to qualify for regionals.
Scotland’s third doubles pair of senior Jason Kang and junior Drew Monroe took on Hoke’s Trenton Lee and Gabriel Williams. Monroe and Kang are not normally doubles partners, but Phillips was ineligible to play doubles since he’s competing in the singles bracket. Kang and Monroe lost their opening match, 6-1, 7-5.
Seeding for the NCHSAA 4A men’s dual team tournament and individual tournament takes place April 30. The first round of the dual team tournament begins May 2 while the individual tournament begins May 4. The Scots will compete in the 4A Mid-East in the individual championships, the region for the dual team tournament has not be loaded onto the NCHSAA website as of Friday afternoon.