Fike shows experience in doubles play
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 9, 2012 1:48 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Two evenly-matched teams exhibited consistent play in singles action Tuesday afternoon, but Wilson Fike was just a little bit better in doubles.
The top-seeded tandem of Nick James-Connor Schmidt earned the match-clinching point in the Golden Demons' 6-3 triumph over Charles B. Aycock in second-round action of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A dual-team boys' tennis playoffs Tuesday afternoon.
"I thought we played pretty well overall and did a good job of getting to 3-3 (after singles)," CBA head coach Luke Vail said. "Fike is just better than we are in doubles because they have more big serves and a better net game. We played good defensive tennis singles, but when you go over to doubles, it wasn't the same.
"Still, there was some good tennis played out there today."
Fike (15-7 overall) had the stronger serves, consistent volleys and converted the big shots on crucial points during its second win over Aycock in three tries this season. All three matches ironically ended in 6-3 results.
The No. 2 duo of Philip Packard-Drayton Williams, the east regional runners-up, put the Golden Demons in front 4-3 with a 10-3 triumph over the Golden Falcons' Addison Vail-Austin Walker. James-Schmidt handed Hoff-Kearney, the east regional doubles champions, a 10-5 loss.
Thomas Smith-John Flinn outlasted Chas Hooks-Sam Chastain 11-9 at the No. 3 slot to complete Fike's sweep and set up a third-round date at Big East champion Northern Nash.
"We left it all out on the court and put up a much better fight than last year," coach Vail said. "If we had had a little more aggression in doubles, we could have made it a little more interesting in the end. Their experience and our inexperience, I think, affected the final outcome.
"Maybe they were a little more relaxed than we were."
James, Williams and Smith each earned a singles point for Fike.
The Golden Falcons (16-5) got singles victories from sophomore Michael Kearney, lone senior Austin Walker and junior Sam Chastain. Kearney overcame some opening-set mistakes to beat Packard 7-5, 6-2. Chastain turned back Flinn 1-6, 6-2, 10-7.
Walker dumped Schmidt 6-2, 6-1.
"Austin played a really good singles match today ... was pretty dominant," Vail said. "Austin, Michael and Sam did a great job of bouncing back. Sam gave us a chance (to win) in doubles.
"That was a nice (singles) win for him and he's been in some tough matches this year at number six. I was happy to see him get that win."
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