The two coaches knew this match up would be close, but they had no idea how so very close it would be. It would take nearly 3 1/2 hours to find out which school would wind up being the overall winner. Here are the results as they unfolded.
#1 Singles: Spencer Hinton vs. Jullian Richardson (6-2)(6-2): Spencer did not have too difficult a challenge as he took immediate control of his match. With quite a variety of shots at his disposal, Spencer was first off the courts in two fairly quick sets. Lugoff was up 1-0.
#5 Singles: Holden Roberts vs. Josh Epps (5-7)(3-6): The first set went back and forth on the #5 court. There was no real signs of which player would be the winner until the end of the set. Nearly taking it to a tie break, Lugoff would eventually fall short. The second set was not nearly as competitive, and so Holden was off of the courts much sooner than usual. This put the two schools in a tie 1-1.
#3 Singles: Tyler Matthews vs. Nathaniel Devitt (6-1)(2-6)(9-11): Tyler seemed to be in complete control as he took the first set only dropping one game. The second set though was all Nathaniel as he managed to only drop 2 games. The tie break went back and forth and the distance. Manning has had trouble winning tie breaks… and Tyler seems at home in 3rd set tie breaks. This time though the win would go to Manning, and so Lugoff was looking at a 1-2 deficit.
#2 Doubles: Elijah Jordan / Trey Stephens vs. Xavier Gibson / Hane Mitchum (6-3)(2-6)(11-13): Lugoff took immediate control in the first set. Though I warned them that Manning would be coming out in the second set with a different plan, Lugoff seemed unprepared to handle the change. They quickly dropped that set and were forced into a 3rd set tie break. Although Lugoff took an early lead and had some match points, Manning was able to fight back and take the match in the end. Now Lugoff was in trouble standing behind at 1-3.
#2 Singles: Matthew Mills vs. Dayquan Harrison (4-6)(6-4)(10-5): Matthew seemed to find himself a little outmatched at first, but you can never count him out of a match. He had a respectable showing in the first set, and it just inspired him to step it up for the next two. Possibly knowing how important his match was for the overall results, Matthew steadily chipped away at Mannings game and took the match. Now Lugoff had moved up to 2-3… and we were nearing the end of the #4 Singles match.
#4 Singles: Ryan Hill vs. Brandon Burgess (7-6… 4)(7-5): Just like the last time these two players met, the first set was very close. So close in fact that it was decided in a tie break which Ryan took allowing only 4 points to his opponent. The second set looked to be heading in the same way, so the #1 doubles teams were put onto their courts. Near the end of the second set, Brandon ran after a shot that took him a bit too close to the back fence. An athletic trainer was called to the courts to attend to his finger on his racquet hand. When play resumed, you could tell that Brandon had lost a little pop to his shots and Ryan had lost a little attack from his game. Both players were able to collect themselves again, and it was Ryan’s aggressive play that kept the second set from going to a tie break as well. Now the teams were tied 3-3, and the overall win would fall on the shoulders of the number 1 doubles team.
#1 doubles: Spencer Hinton / Matthew Mills vs. Jullian Richardson / Josh Epps (5-7)(6-1)(10-5): Neither team seemed to be able to get a handle on the first set. Each team took turns with the lead. Lugoff fell a little short at the end and missed an opportunity to play yet another set tie break. The second set was all Lugoff though… and so was the 3rd set tie break.
With the sun setting and the boys’ hunger rising, Lugoff won a very close match at Manning 4-3.
Tomorrow they travel to face the only team they have not played yet this year… Ridgeview.