Vikes Stop Overhills in Tennis
Jay Stalls and Jon Fondrie, 2011 CFV doubles champions and Jacob Daniel, conference doubles runner-up, have graduated from the Union Pines boys’ tennis team, but the squad has several veterans returning.
Among the four returning vets are senior Kyle Gatti, conference singles runner-up, juniors Adam Howard, conference double runner-up, John Dangerfield, two-time conference singles champion, and Matt Lorenz, who is much improved according to longtime Viking coach John Frye. All four were all-conference selections last year.
The Vikes opened with a convincing 9-0 Cape Fear Valley Conference win over visiting Overhills Wednesday. All four of the returning players picked up wins in both singles and doubles.
Dangerfield now has 75 career wins, the 45th player at Union Pines to reach that mark, while Howard has 62, Gatti with 35 and Lorenz with 32, were 2011 all-conference selections.
The four headline players expect heated competition from six incoming freshmen eager for playing time. The sextet of newcomers distinguished themselves as championship performers in middle school tennis and along with the upperclassmen are USTA players whose skill levels are climbing, according to Frye.
Jordan Allen, Brenton Cameron, Dylan Dinkins, Chase Herrington, Shane Medlin and Ben White will join the four Viking upperclassmen to give the team a 10-man roster. Experienced and talented, the freshmen look to play significant roles immediately. Both Allen and Dinkins picked up their first career Viking wins in the victory over Overhills.
Last year’s team won the conference championship, its sixth consecutive, going 10-0, and completed the season 16-3 while advancing to the state playoffs.
The 2011 conference MVP, Dangerfield is favored to fill the No. 1 singles slot, with the rest of the line up to be determined by challenge matches. In doubles, players will be shuffled in and out of the line up until relative strengths can be decided.
The team faces a challenging nonconference schedule with matches against Northwood, Scotland High, Asheboro, Pinecrest and Chapel Hill.
If the team’s doubles play is solid and avoids illness and injury, Frye said, it looks to compete for the conference championship and regional and state honors.
Union Pines 9, Overhills 0
Singles: John Dangerfield, UP, defeated Jacob Lee, 10-0; Kyle Gatti, UP, def. Mike Trjillo, 10-0; Adam Howard, UP, def. Will Erwin, 10-0; Jordan Allen, UP, def. Diquan Anderson, 10-0; Dylan Dinkins, UP, def. Isaiah Jackson, 10-0; Matt Lorenz, UP, def. Zachary Rainwater, 10-0.
Doubles: Dangerfield-Allen, UP, def. Lee-Anderson, 8-0; Gatti-Howard, UP, def. Trjillo-Erwin, 8-0; Dinkins-Lorenz, UP, def. Jackson-Michael Abraham, 8-0.
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