Friday, 16 April 2021 16:11

Raiders roll past Lumberton, extend streak to 6 wins

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ROSports File Photo: Sophomore Ethan McDonald returns a shot during Richmond's home match on Tuesday. ROSports File Photo: Sophomore Ethan McDonald returns a shot during Richmond's home match on Tuesday. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LUMBERTON — The Richmond Senior High School boys’ tennis team extended its winning streak to six matches on Thursday.

Continuing Sandhills Athletic Conference play, the Raiders earned a pair of 7-2 wins over Lumberton High School. The current roll of victories include doubleheader wins against Jack Britt, Hoke County and the Pirates.

“I was very pleased with our team’s wins against Lumberton,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “We played our best matches so far. The boys really moved well on the court and played the net much more than in previous games.  

“We were very impressed with Lumberton's players and had several competitive matches, even though the score did not show it,” she added. “We also played really well in doubles, even though we lost the No. 1 doubles match.”  

In the first match, the Raiders won five of the six singles matches and earned victories in two doubles contests. The backend of the doubleheader saw a sweep with six singles wins and one more doubles win.

Seniors Noah Aiken, Bradford Pittman and Alex Yates, and sophomores Ethan McDonald and Ty Murray all went 2-0 on the afternoon in singles play. 

In the No. 1 singles matches, Pittman defeated Mason Collins twice with matching scores of 8-4. Murray followed in the No. 2 series, handing Sam Irvin a pair of 8-5 defeats.

No. 4 Aiken held on to get two wins against Chase McCormick, winning the first contest 8-5 before collecting an 8-6 victory. No. 5 McDonald rolled past Mason Hall 8-2 and 8-1, before No. 6 Yates closed the door with two 8-2 wins over Ethan Stevens.

In the No. 3 matches, sophomore Matthew Burns split with David Irvin. Burns dropped the first match 2-8, before rebounding with an 8-4 win to complete the singles sweep in the second match.

“Matthew had a big win against in the second singles match and played his best matches so far,” Covington explained. “He was charging the net a lot more.”

The Raiders’ No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairings also helped Richmond stay in the win column. Burns and Murray took care of business against No. 2 McCormick and David Irvin 8-3 in the first match, but Aiken and Burns lost 3-8 in the second match.

McDonald and Yates played both of the No. 3 doubles matches together, discounting Hall and Stevens by scores of 8-4 and 8-6.

Covington switched up the No. 1 pairings, first going with Pittman and Aiken, who fell 2-8 to Collins and Sam Irvin. Pittman and Murray played in the second match, but lost 5-8.

“I switched up doubles and had Braddford and Ty play together,” Covington said. “They were a great team together and fought hard, but lost the match. Alex and Ethan won both doubles matches and are still very solid as our No. 3 doubles team. 

“This match was a great one to prepare us for Scotland and Purnell Swett in the weeks to come,” she closed. “We do not have a match next week, so we will be working hard on our skills and focus on improving our game.”

The Raiders (6-2) will host Scotland High School on April 27, followed by the season finale at Purnell Swett High School on April 29. Both are doubleheaders set for 4 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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