LAURINBURG — Matthew Burns’ pre-season prediction came to fruition for the Richmond Raider tennis team during Thursday’s season finale.
A few months ago, Burns said it was the Raiders’ goal to lose no more than two matches this season and finish near the top of the Sandhills Athletic Conference standings.
With Richmond’s sweep of Scotland behind a score of 8-1, the team finished the regular season with an 8-2 record.
“This was a really awesome way to finish the regular season and conference play,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “We had a goal of playing our best tennis this season and the boys really showed that all season long.
“Anytime we play Scotland, we know it can be a tough match. But our guys came out ready to play today and really moved well on the court. I’m so proud of everyone.”
Thursday’s contest was controlled by the Raiders, who took five of the six singles matches and swept all three doubles matches.
Richmond’s trio of senior players — Burns, Ethan McDonald and Ty Murray — each finished their final high school regular-season singles match with a win.
In the No. 1 competition, Murray battled to an 8-5 victory over Cole Hamilton. Burns defeated David Reyes 8-2 in the No. 2 matchup and McDonald extended his double-digit win total this season with an 8-6 win against Ricky Zhang.
No. 4 sophomore Jordan Jacobs added a singles win, cruising past Thomas Buie by a final tally of 8-2. Securing the match win in the No. 6 singles contest was junior Will Whitley, who handed Eli McRae a 8-8, 7-1 loss in the tiebreaker.
Scotland’s only win came in the No. 5 singles match, as junior Brent Humann fell 4-8.
Adding three more wins for good measure in doubles play, the No. 1 duo of Murray and Burns defeated Hamilton and Buie 8-3. Using the same score, the No. 2 pairing of McDonald and Jacobs eased past Reyes and Zhang.
Rounding out the team win were Humann and Whitley in the No. 3 match, who rolled past Cameron Gagnon and Tommy Beckwith 8-2.
The Raiders, who are in second place in the SAC standings, will gear up for the SAC tournament on Tuesday at Hoke County High School.
Based on those results, the team or individual players will try to qualify for regionals.