03/22/17 — BOYS' TENNIS: Warriors win battle with Golden Falcons

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BOYS' TENNIS: Warriors win battle with Golden Falcons

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 22, 2017 10:22 AM


PIKEVILLE -- Go to your refrigerator.

Find a red marker.

Draw a BIG circle around April 13 on your calendar.

If you missed Tuesday's annual battle between county boys' tennis rivals Eastern Wayne and Charles B. Aycock, that's when you can see them again.

And expect another head knocker.

The Warriors split a pair of tiebreakers in singles play and won two critical doubles courts in a 6-3 triumph over the Golden Falcons on an unseasonably warm afternoon.

"Our team fought hard against a tough and resilient Aycock team," Warriors head coach Craig Hassell said.

No doubt.

Yoseph Yan trailed 6-2 in the second-set tiebreaker to defeat CBA's Jonas Creel 6-4, 7-6 (6) at the No. 3 singles flight. Teammate Anass Sarah, a first-year starter, rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second set the No. 6 slot and forced a third-set super tiebreaker against Austin Doyle.

A junior, Doyle squeaked out a 6-3, 6-7 (1), 1-0 (3) win.

"(Doyle) does not have a 'quit' button," said Golden Falcons head coach RJ Allen, whose team missed two starters -- sophomore Brady LaVoie and junior Sam Andrews (illness).

"Today, he was thrown into the fourth seed at the last minute. He played the match of his career today. He and his opponent matched up well."

Hassell described the feisty Doyle as a "human backboard, who showed great fortitude and sportsmanship" during the match.

EW led 4-2 after singles.

Top-seeded Dylan March, fifth-seeded Ian Burchett and sixth-seeded Daniel Stevens each emerged victorious in straight-set fashion. The trio combined to lose just six games.

Aycock's Nolan Casey prevailed 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2.

March-Davis and Sarah-Daniels won at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles, respectively. The Golden Falcons' tandem of Hare-Doyle pulled off an 8-5 win at No. 2.

Hassell applauded his team's overall effort, but added the little things -- technique, shot selection, keeping up the score in tiebreakers -- can affect the overall outcome of a match.

"(A) great match with a great team," said Allen, whose squad edged Hunt 5-4 on Monday. "(We) had some close matches today and (I) enjoyed some watching some good tennis. Unfortunately, it did not go our way.

"We're looking forward to next time."

Get that red marker handy.