04/23/10 — Eagles drop home match

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Eagles drop home match

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 23, 2010 1:46 PM

Sammy Easom hopes the late-season skid ends soon.

And he eagerly awaits the return of Taylor Gray.

Fayetteville Christian claimed the final three singles points and handed Wayne Christian a 5-4, non-conference setback on the John Allen Farfour Courts at Herman Park on Thursday afternoon. It was the Eagles' third consecutive defeat in dual-team tennis play after starting the season 5-0.

The lone senior honored before the match, Gray has been sidelined with pneumonia. He's not expected to compete again until the season-ending Carolina Christian 1-A Conference tournament next Thursday in Raleigh.

"Not having Taylor made all the difference in the world," said Easom.

Gray's absence caused Easom to move seventh-grader Nicholas Easom into the starting lineup at No. 6 singles. The remaining starters each bumped up one spot.

The teams started with doubles since they were sharing the 12-court facility with Goldsboro High and Rosewood, who were playing their regular-season finale on the Carolina 1-A Conference scene.

Fayetteville Christian (5-4 overall) triumphed at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, while Wayne Christian's tandem of Chris Easom-Daniel Glover claimed an 8-3 decision at No. 1.

"It wasn't all that tough really to start at doubles, and I don't think it made any difference in the (overall) match," said coach Easom. "I might have tried to pair them up a little differently if we had started at singles. I don't think it was much of a problem for us.

"I thought everybody played their best. One, two and three (singles) won fairly easily, especially in the first sets and I was proud of them for doing that."

Chris Easom, a freshman, rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles over Fayetteville's Hayden Lancaster. Third-seeded Woody Sasser prevailed 6-0, 6-4 at No. 3 singles, and Glover pulled out a third-set tiebreaker against John Ginn.

Glover (5-3) dominated the opening set, but let Ginn control the tempo and force the deciding 10-point tiebreaker. Glover seized five of the first six points and served three aces overall to beat Ginn 6-0, 4-6, 10-5.

"I think he, unintentionally, had a mental letdown and took his foot off the gas pedal and let the guy back in," said coach Easom. "(Ginn) got some confidence. Then Daniel made up his mind that he could win this and served it out."

Fayetteville won Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles to secure the match.