Ziccardi, Stone, Bryant-Jackson each advance to NCHSAA 3-A tennis championships
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 14, 2006 2:17 AM
WILSON -- Eastern Wayne continued one of its best seasons in men's tennis history during the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern regional individual tournament contested Friday and Saturday.
Senior Drew Ziccardi and junior Jared Stone each collected a pair of straight-set singles victories on the Barton College courts. Teammates Alex Bryant-Drew Jackson, the Warriors' lone doubles qualifier, survived a second-round scare.
However, all four endured semifinal-round losses Saturday morning.
Ziccardi, the No. 2 seed in the 16-player singles draw, fell 6-3, 6-4 to Kinston's James Walker. Ziccardi defeated Walker in last week's Eastern Carolina Conference final.
Stone fell to top-seeded Alex Sack, a German exchange student from West Brunswick. Sack cruised to a 6-0 win in the first set. Stone held a one-game advantage twice in the second set, but eventually lost 6-0, 6-4.
"Jared played absolutely fantastic," said Dawson. "That's probably the best I've seen him play all year."
Bryant-Jackson, the No. 3 seed, suffered a 6-1, 6-1 setback against Washington's Kevin Stancil-Ben Peele.
"We had several deuce points, but all we could get was two games off of them," said Dawson.
Bryant-Jackson opened regional action with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Washington's Trey Moore-D.J. Washington. They rallied past Rocky Mount's Jamie Thomas-Trey Spraye 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in quarterfinal-round play.
Ziccardi (19-2) stopped Northern Nash's Josh Harris 6-4, 6-4 and beat Beddingfield's Justin Webb 6-0, 6-2 in the second round. Stone (19-2) ousted Northern Nash's John Lucas 6-3, 6-1 and eliminated West Carteret's Billy Rawls 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Charles B. Aycock's sophomore tandem of Blake Cooper-Ben Evans lost 6-2, 6-1 against Rocky Mount's Travis Marsh-Travis Kirkpatrick in the first round.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to next week's NCHSAA 3-A Championships, which begin Friday at the Burlington Tennis Center.
Eastern Wayne (14-2) entertains Rocky Mount Senior High (12-6) in a second-round, dual-team playoff match next Tuesday afternoon. First serve is at 3:30 p.m. on the Wayne Community College courts.
Each team prevailed 9-0 in its respective opening-round match last Tuesday. The Warriors won a dual-team postseason match for the first time since the mid-1990s.
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