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JOHNSON WINS THIRD STRAIGHT SINGLES TITLE IN STATE 3-A MEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
BURLINGTON -- Kyle Johnson of Charlotte Catholic won his third consecutive state singles title on Saturday in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A men's tennis championships at the Burlington Tennis Center and then later at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
Johnson defeated Matt Daly of Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons in a morning semifinal and then battled past Eric Greene of Western Alamance in the championship match, 7-6 (6), 7-5. Johnson had lost only three games in four sets on Friday's opening day of play.
Johnson and Greene were knotted at 2-2 in the first set of the final when the rains came and the championship moved indoors. Greene's booming first serve helped keep him in the competitive match. He struggled with cramps in the final after rallying from a set down to win his morning semifinal over Joey Hatala of Waxhaw Marvin Ridge.
Johnson's win marked the seventh time in NCHSAA history that a men's player has won three singles championships and Johnson, a junior, would have a chance for an unprecedented feat with a fourth state title. Will Rollinson of Cardinal Gibbons has the most recent accomplishment of that feat, winning titles from 2006-08 in the 2-A classification.
The Cardinal Gibbons pair of Chris Geaslen and Killian Steer earned the doubles crown with a 6-4, 6-1 win over the Asheville team of Morris Porter and Tito Poplawski. Geaslen had been part of the state runner-up team in doubles with Daly a year ago.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
3-A STATE MEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
BURLINGTON TENNIS CENTER, BURLINGTON
Eric Greene (Western Alamance) def. Joey Hatala (Waxhaw Marvin Ridge) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Kyle Johnson (Charlotte Catholic) def. Matt Daly (Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons) 7-5, 6-2.
Johnson (Charlotte Catholic) def. Greene (Western Alamance) 7-6 (6), 7-5.
Morris Porter-Tito Poplawski (Asheville) def. Alex Southard-Logan Williams (Northern Guilford) 6-3, 7-6(2); Chris Geaslen-Killian Steer (Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons) def. Owen Fike-Adam Glover (Southern Nash) 6-2, 6-1.
Geaslen-Steer (Cardinal Gibbons) def. Porter-Poplawski (Asheville) 6-4, 6-1.