Home Local Sports Raiders place 2nd at SAC tournament, qualify for regionals

Raiders place 2nd at SAC tournament, qualify for regionals

The 2023 Raider tennis team qualified for the 4A Mideast regionals. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

SOUTHERN PINES — A strong showing at Saturday’s Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament punched the Richmond Raider tennis team’s ticket to the 4A Mideast regionals.

Qualifying for the postseason as a team for the first time during head coach Jessica Covington’s tenure, the Raiders earned a second-place finish in the tournament.

Also the highest finish in the SAC standings for Richmond over the past several years, the Raiders placed runner-up behind conference winner Pinecrest High School.

“This was an awesome way to end our regular season,” Covington said. “We set a goal at the start of the season that we wanted to contend for the conference championship and make it to regionals. And we did that.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” she added. “Every one of the boys contributed to our second-place finish and now their hard work and dedication throughout the season is paying off with a trip to regionals. This is a big milestone for our program, especially for our three seniors.”

The Raiders’ top four individual seeds teamed up to compete in a doubles tournament that resulted in a second-place finish. Those four players were seniors Matthew Burns, Ethan McDonald and Ty Murray, along with sophomore Jordan Jacobs.

Competing in the singles competition were juniors No. 5 Brent Humann and No. 6 Will Whitley. Both played against opponents from Hoke County High School.

As the No. 2 pairing in the tournament, Murray and Burns got an automatic bye into the second round. Also earning a first-round bye were McDonald and Jacobs.


Jack Hage and Jaden Ung of Pinecrest advanced to the second round to play Murray and Burns. Playing the best of three games, Murray and Burns rallied after dropping the first 2-6 to win the next two 6-3, 6-2 to advance.

That sent the pair of Raiders up against the top-seeded duo of Ethan McClymont and Jake Maybouer in the doubles championship.

Despite a strong effort, Murray and Burns came up short by a final score of 2-6 and 3-6.

Prior to the championship match, McClymont and Maybouer defeated McDonald and Jacobs 6-1, 6-4.

In singles action, both Humann and Whitley fell in their first-round matches.

Humann battled John Perez to a pair of tiebreakers, but lost 6-6, 7-5, 3-6 and 10-12. Whitley’s match with Armando Zuniga resulted in a 5-7, 4-6 defeat.

The dual match team 4A Mideast regional tournament will be held on Wednesday (time and location to be determined, seeding on Monday). 

Murray and Burns, who also qualified for the 4A Mideast regional singles tournament, will compete on Friday at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.

Previous articleRaiders collect 6 wins in final SAC meet of regular season
Next articleOBITUARY: Angeline Kirby Lindsey
Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.