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Raiders sweep Seventy-First in season opener

The Raider tennis team blanked Seventy-First 9-0 to open the season Monday.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

FAYETTEVILLE — The Richmond Senior High School boys’ tennis team finally got its spring slate started Monday after getting rained out twice last week.

Third-year head coach Patrick Hope and the Raiders made the trip to Seventy-First High School and picked up a season-opening win. 

Richmond defeated the Falcons, a program that is co-ed and in its first season, 9-0 in the Sandhills Athletic Conference opener.

The Raiders went 6-0 in the singles matches, before picking wins in all three of the doubles contests. Five of the six singles matches were straight-set wins for Richmond, while the No. 6 seed was a forfeit win.

Richmond earned one doubles win in straight sets, while the other two were forfeit victories.

“It felt good to finally get on the court against a different opponent,” Hope said. “Seventy-First is a co-ed team because they didn’t offer girls tennis in the fall and they’re trying to build the sport up.

“We still have a lot to learn,” he added of the Raiders’ performance. “But it’s easier to learn with a win.”

Taking over the role as the Raiders’ No. 1 seed was junior Bradford Pittman, who blanked Aaliyah Smith 6-0, 6-0 in the top-seeded match. 

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Fellow juniors No. 2 Karym Ojeda and No. 3 Alex Yates also won their respective matches 6-0, 6-0, defeating Carlos Soto and Terion Wash in their first matches of the year. 

All three Raiders are returners from last season.

Newcomers in No. 4 freshman Ty Murray and No. 5 junior Mack West won their first career matches. Murray took down Jenay Lewis in straight sets, while West blanked Jamya Davis by the same tally.

Freshman No. 6 Ethan McDonald was credited with the forfeit win in the last singles match due to Seventy-First not having a player.

Murray and McDonald paired up to defeat Smith and Soto in the No. 1 doubles match 8-0. By way of forfeit, Richmond was also awarded wins in the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles contests.

“This will be a confidence builder for the two big matches we have this week against Purnell Swett and Pinecrest,” Hope closed.

The Raiders (1-0, 1-0 SAC) will return to the court Tuesday for a home match against conference foe Purnell Swett High School (1-0, 1-0 SAC). Matches will begin at 4 p.m.

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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.