06/28/05 — Smith wins state tennis title

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Smith wins state tennis title

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on June 28, 2005 1:46 PM

SNOW HILL -- Goldsboro resident Lucious M. Smith won a state title at the N.C. State Closed NTRP Hard Court Championships over the weekend.

Smith, a former Goldsboro High School tennis coach and currently a tennis instructor, captured the Men's 4.0 singles title by downing No. 1-seeded Alan L. Billings from Durham on Sunday. Smith, the two seed, dropped the first set 7-6 (4) before rallying to take the next two sets 6-1, 6-4 to win the championship -- his second title in three tournaments this year.

Smith advanced to the quarterfinals by getting past Fayetteville resident Malcolm Harris 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday in the Round of 16, then dropped Winterville's Nicholas Rupp 6-4, 7-5.

In the semifinals, Smith slipped past Raleigh's Stephen L. Arnold 6-4, 7-5.

The state championship came on the heels of winning an 18th annual Cinny Bunn Memorial title in Wilson two weeks earlier.

In that tournament, Smith -- again the No. 2 seed -- knocked off the top seed in the finals after losing the first set.

Smith won in straight sets against Wilson's Griffin H. Benton in the Round of 16, 6-1, 6-3 before dispatching of Snow Hill's Paul Skillicorn 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. He beat Pink Hill resident Robert Jones 6-2, 6-0 in the semis before knocking off No. 1-seeded Brian Calingaert of Raleigh 2-6, 6-4 and 1-0 in the championship match.

In August, Smith will go for his third title of the year as he competes in the Clay Court State Championships in Greensboro.