Wayne County players dominate opening-round action at 3-A Conference
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 29, 2010 1:46 PM
SNOW HILL -- Opening day of the 2010 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference men's tennis championships turned into a Wayne County party Wednesday afternoon.
Players from Eastern Wayne, Charles B. Aycock and Southern Wayne greedily gobbled up all eight spots available for next week's eastern regional tournament in Wilson.
Top-seeded Chaz Fitzpatrick, Russell Turner, Will Hoff and three-time defending ECC singles champion Blake Vail each secured a regional bid.
In doubles, top-seeded Addison Westbrook-Dylan Quinn of Aycock advanced to regional play. Southern Wayne's tandems of Kobi Hood-Brandon Outlaw and Cameron Thames-Benny Segura qualified.
Mike Barnette-Aaron Dunmire will represent the Warriors.
"Good representation," said second-year Eastern Wayne coach Craig Hassell. "I think everybody has four kids from each (county) school qualifying. You can't get any more balanced than that. It was good tennis today., I thought, especially in doubles and that's something kind of rare in high school tennis."
Fitzpatrick and Vail meet for the singles title today on the Snow Hill Tennis Complex courts. The two split their regular-season meetings with each emerging victorious on his home court.
In doubles, Westbrook-Quinn oppose Segura-Thames in one semifinal. The other semifinal pits Barnette-Dunmire against Hood-Outlaw.
"Aaron and Michael played extremely well, especially Aaron, who was very aggressive at the net," said Hassell. "I was glad to see Aaron qualify for doubles after coming up a little bit short last year."
The duo of Joe DiCesare-Marvin Bowman Jr. had their regional hopes derailed in the quarterfinals. They eliminated Triton's Lucas Baglioni-Chris Dewey before falling to Segura-Thames in three sets.
Fitzpatrick, the top seed, recorded back-to-back shutout victories over the Saints' Allen Cansler and Hoff.
"Chaz played exceptionally well," said Hassell.
Turner, last year's ECC singles runner-up, faces Hoff in the third-place match. A sophomore, Turner dropped a three-set decision to Vail in the semifinals. It was a rematch of the 2009 title tilt, won by Vail..
"Russell, I just can't say enough about him," said Hassell. "He's battled shoulder injuries and today he cramped in the third set. He's just got the heart of a lion and is tough.
"(It was) a gutty performance."
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