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BURLINGTON - The North Carolina High School Athletic Associationís 17th annual state menís dual team tennis championships will come to the Burlington Tennis Center on Saturday, with some familiar powers in tennis once again competing for state championships.
All four classification championships are scheduled for Saturday, with the 1-A and 2-A classifications starting at 9 a.m. and then the 3-A and 4-A to begin at noon Most of the teams qualifying for the finals advanced with victories in the semifinal round on Thursday.
The 4-A championship match is a battle of perennial powers as Raleigh Broughton (21-2) takes on Charlotte Providence (16-0). Broughton has won eight dual team state championships, including a four-year string from 2002-05 which was snapped last year by East Chapel Hill, which beat Providence in the title match.
Chris Sheehan and Carter Braxton of Providence wound up second in the 4-A state doubles tournament last weekend while the Broughton doubles duos of Drake Kane-J.B. Weaver and Bill Bobbitt-James Coxe both lost in the state semifinals.
Bobbitt and Coxe were ousted by Sheehan and Braxton in a tough three-set match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 3-A championship will send Burlington Williams (19-2) against Statesville (12-0). Williams is making its third dual-team title appearance but is still looking for its initial state crown. The Bulldogs lost in last yearís final to Hickory. Statesville won the 1997 3-A crown and was the 2-A runner-up in both 1998 and í99.
Statesvilleís Preston Spencer won the 3-A state singles title last weekend while the Greyhound doubles duo of Thomas Fanjoy and Luke Gillis was the state runner-up. Williams had a pair of doubles teams, Joseph Canada-Adam Blaser and Stefan Sumner-Ross Powell, make it to the state quarterfinals.
Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and the Red Devils of Newton-Conover, with identical 22-1 marks, will battle it out for the 2-A title. Cardinal Gibbons will be hard to beat, since the defending champs have both two-time individual singles champion Will Rollinson and 2007 2-A doubles champs Ryan Daly and Jonathan Fedorkwicz.
Newton-Conover dropped its season opener to 4-A Morganton Freedom and has won 22 straight. John Jones and Won Lok Choi are among the top Red Devil players.
The 1-A final pits Hampstead Topsail (19-5) against Hendersonville (16-4). Topsail lost in the finals last year to Mount Airy.
Tyler Grove of Hendersonville earned the 1-A state singles championship last weekend, and Robert Beal and Evan Kirkland of Hendersonville advanced all the way to the doubles semifinals before losing.
Topsail had a pair of singles players in the state quarterfinals, Blake Pleasants and Charles Ather.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
17th ANNUAL DUAL TEAM TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Burlington Tennis Center, Burlington
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Class 1-A: Hampstead Topsail (19-5) vs. Hendersonville (16-4). 9 am
Class 2-A: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (22-1) vs. Newton-Conover (22-1), 9 am
Class 3-A: Burlington Williams (19-2) vs. Statesville (12-0), noon
Class 4-A: Raleigh Broughton (22-1) vs. Charlotte Providence (16-0), noon
Date: May 26, 2007
Site: Burlington Tennis Center, Burlington
First Held: 1991
Qualifiers: Eastern and Western champions meet for state title; 32 schools qualified for playoffs in each classification except 1-A (16)
Defending champions: 1-A: Mount Airy; 2-A: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons; 3-A: Hickory; 4-A: East Chapel Hill
Of Interest: Raleigh Broughtonís all-time record in NCHSAA menís dual team playoff competition is an amazing 63-8 entering this final.
Presenting Sponsors: Wendyís and the Carolinas Ford Dealers