LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots tennis team traveled to Apex on Wednesday for the opening round of the state 4A dual team tournament.
Scotland earned a No. 2 seed with their 10-3 record and played No. 1 Middle Creek (12-4) as the higher seed, the Mustangs hosted.
The Fighting Scots were swept 9-0 by Middle Creek to end their run in the dual team playoffs. The team hadn’t advanced to the dual team tournament since 2011 under former head coach Jeanne Roller. In 2011, the Scots also lost in the first round that time to Millbrook, 0-6.
Despite the loss, Scots head coach Atondra Ellis said her players competed in each of their matches and didn’t just roll over and let the Mustangs win.
“We were swept in singles and doubles but there were a lot of deuces and long games,” Ellis said. “Middle Creek obviously did a better job closing the deal than we did but it was still a wonderful opportunity for my guys. I’m really proud of the effort and dedication they exhibited.”
Scotland stuck with their traditional line up as junior Nate Dubbs played first singles and fellow junior Hunter Edkins played second singles. Seniors Nyjel Collins-Jackson, Ryan Phillips and Sam Poage played third, fourth and fifth singles respectively. The Scots rounded out the singles courts with sophomore Nicholas Murphy playing sixth singles.
Dubbs took on Middle Creek junior Dean Zoglio on court one falling in straight sets, 0-6, 0-6. Edkins squared off with Middle Creek’s Owen McGrew on court two and also lost in straight sets, 0-6, 0-6.
Collins-Jackson picked up the first point of the match for the Scots on court three against Mustangs’ senior Will Anderson. Collins-Jackson lost the first set 1-6 before Anderson put the match away with an 6-0 second set.
Phillips scored two points for the Scots on court four against Middle Creek’s Henry Hollyday. Phillips scored one point off Hollyday in the first set before losing 1-6 and scored his second point in the second set. The Scots senior couldn’t squeeze out anymore points, losing to Hollyday, 1-6 in the second set as well.
Poage and Middle Creek’s Kevin Brown had the closest match of the afternoon as the Scots senior made the Mustangs junior work for his win. Poage did his best to keep pace but Brown managed to hit a few more shots winning the match, 2-6, 3-6.
Murphy took on the Mustangs’ Arman Badalamenti on court six and lost his match in two sets, 2-6, 0-6.
The Scots doubles teams faced a similar fate as Dubbs and Edkins lost their first doubles match, 1-10 while Collins-Jackson and Poage were shut out in second doubles, 0-10. Phillips and junior Drew Monroe had the closest doubles match earning three points against the Mustangs before falling, 3-10.
Middle Creek will play the winner of No. 1 Panther Creek/wild card Holly Springs in the second round on Tuesday, May 8 with the higher seeded team hosting.
Five members of the Fighting Scots tennis team — Phillips, Edkins, Dubbs, Collins-Jackson and Poage — will travel to Raleigh this afternoon to compete in the 4A individual tournament.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]