Viking Boys Open Tennis Season With Win
Kyle Gatti, who teamed with Adam Howard to win the 2012 CFV conference doubles championship for Union Pines, has graduated and is playing for Greens-boro College.
But the cupboard is not bare as the 2013 edition of Union Pines boys’ tennis returns seniors John Dangerfield, two-time conference MVP and three-time conference singles champion, Howard, both a conference doubles champion and runner-up, and Matt Lorenz, conference doubles runner-up. Dangerfield with 110 career wins, Howard with 95, and Lorenz with 60 were 2012 all-conference selections.
The three headline players expect heated competition from four sophomores, two of whom, Jordan Allen and Dylan Dinkins, were top six and all-conference performers in 2012. They are joined by fellow sophomores Ben White and Brenton Cameron, who likewise posted winning records last season.
Incoming freshmen Ben Williams and Cole Welton distinguished themselves as middle school players and are regulars on the USTA circuit. Both appear ready to challenge for one of the top-six positions. The 2012 Vikings will be experienced and talented, and will be heavy favorites to repeat as CFV 3-A conference champions. Last year’s championship team was 16-0 on the regular season and finished in the second round of the state playoffs at 17-1.
Dangerfield, last year’s conference MVP, is favored to fill the No. 1 singles slot, with the lineup 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 non-conference schedule with matches against Northwood, Asheboro, and Pinecrest, and other matches to be added.
If the team’s doubles play is solid and the players avoid illness and injury, said veteran coach John Frye, it looks to compete for the conference championship and regional and state honors.
The Vikings got off to a strong start Wednesday a 9-0 win at Douglas Byrd. The team did not drop a game in claiming the season-opening win. Ben Williams won his first two career matches for the Vikings. Dangerfield picked up two wins and is now 112-18 that is good enough for 21st on the school’s career-win list.
Union Pines 9 Douglas Byrd 0
Singles: John Dangerfield (UP) defeated Letwall Agosto 10-0; Ben Williams (UP) def. Hiram Gascot 10-0; Dylan Dinkins (UP) def. Tijuan Shackelford 10-0; Adam Howard (UP) def. Jermal McAllister 10-0; Jordan Allen (UP) def. John Haskins 10-0; Matt Lorenz (UP) def. Chris Haskins 10-0.
Doubles: Dangerfield-Dinkins (UP) def Agosto-Shackelford 8-0; Williams-Allen (UP) def. Gascot-McAllister 8-0; Howard-Lorenz (UP) def. J. Haskins-Willie McDonald 8-0.
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