U.P. Tennis Relishes CFVC Wins
Union Pines’ sophomore John Dangerfield defended his title as the 3A Cape Fear Valley Conference singles champion at the league tennis tournament Friday in Sanford.
“This was a personal goal I had set out to accomplish,” Dangerfield said, “and obviously it was a great feeling to win while representing Union Pines.”
Dangerfield defeated Viking Kyle Gatti 8-0 in an all Union Pines’ final to claim his second CFVC singles title.
“I have taken a lot of lessons with Kevin Criscoe (tennis professional at Pinehurst), spent several Saturday mornings with coach (John) Frye and played a lot of USTA events this year,” said Dangerfield. “I believe all that hard work helped to improve my confidence and shot-making ability as well allow me to accomplish my goal, which is an awesome feeling.”
Garrison Lutz (Southern Lee) and Chris Tuton (Gray’s Creek) were the other semifinalists in singles action and qualified for the Mid-East 3A regional along with Dangerfield and Gatti.
The CFVC doubles tournament final also featured an all-Vike bill, as the senior duo of Jon Fondrie and Jay Stalls defeated Union Pines’ teammates Adam Howard and Jacob Daniel 8-3 to take the title.
“Jon Fondrie and Jay Stalls have been stellar performers for Union Pines throughout their careers, advancing to the regional tournament each year as semifinalists or finalists,” said Viking head coach John Frye.
“It is especially gratifying as seniors that they move on to regional play as Cape Fear Valley Conference champions.”
Stalls admitted the title was one he and his partner had long sought.
“This was the fourth time Jon and I were trying to win this championship,” Stalls said, “so it felt nice to wrap up our CFVC careers with this win. Hopefully, it is not our last win in tournament competition with postseason coming up soon.”
The Viking duo were finalists at last year’s tournament, losing to the Union Pines’ team of Nolan Evans and Jay O’Connor. Evans and O’Connor were finalists the previous year, as the CFVC doubles title match won has virtually become exclusive to Union Pines.
“Winning never gets old around here,” said Fondrie with a smile. “I love that too. I am glad it happened this season and hope it can continue for Viking teams to come in the future.
“I thought it was really important to come out for the last time I was ever going to compete in CFVC play and give it my all. I left it all out there on the court and for Jay and me to get the title just made it all the more special.”
Doubles semifinalists Jon Podolka-Adam Lnenicka (Southern Lee) and Greg Baxley-Sage King (Gray’s Creek) joined the Viking finalists as Mid-East 3A regional doubles qualifiers.
The 2011 and six-time defending CFVC champion Vikings (13-1) returned to dual team action Monday in Cameron, suffering their first loss of the season to Scotland.
The 4A Southeastern Conference champion Fighting Scots edged out Union Pines by a 5-4 tally in the nonconference tilt, which was decided by a tiebreaker in the No. 1 doubles’ match.
The Vikes were scheduled to host Jordan Matthews Tuesday before hitting the road Thursday to take on Northwood for their third nonconference match of the week, as they prepare for the upcoming 3A NCHSAA dual team playoffs.
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org
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