The Terrier netters visited Salem Thursday evening to challenge the defending State Champions in a non-district boys' affair. After losing standouts Patrick O'Keefe and Will Drougas to graduation, the Spartans are rebuilding with a roster full of youngsters.
The Terriers come into the match a little bruised after a 9-0 loss to Cave Spring earlier in the week. In the lead match, Bryce Martin (WB #1) used his all-court skills to post a convincing 6-1; 6-2 victory over Declan McCarthy (S #1). Tim Elting (S #2) evened the match with an efficient 6-0; 6-3 win over Zach Kemp (WB #2). Zach Wright (WB #3) and Mile Markovic (S #3) provided the best match of the evening. Markovic jumped ahead by taking the first set 6-3, but Wright found his rhythm and took the second set 6-4, squaring the match at one set each. Wright prevailed 10-5 in the third-set tiebreaker to win the match and push Byrd ahead at 2-1. The Terriers' promising start stalled as the Spartans won the rest of the singles matches in straight sets to pull ahead 4-2 going into doubles.
Byrd fought back as Martin and Wright (WB #1) defeated McCarthy and Elting (S #1) 8-5. One point separated the teams as the remaining doubles teams played on. Salem clinched the match as Chris Blankenship and Mathew Araina (S #3) came from behind to defeat Sagar Patadia and Zane Mixter (WB #3) 8-5 in #3 doubles. Salem won #2 doubles 8-3 to establish the final margin of 6-3.
"A year ago, the Terriers won a total of seven games in losing 9-0 to the eventual champions. Tonight, at one point, the Terriers were ahead in five matches with a real chance to win the match. Bryce Martin and Zach Wright posted solid victories, and Sagar Patadia and Zane Mixter showed great promise at #3 doubles. The young men from William Byrd took a very positive step forward as they push toward Blue Ridge District play," said William Byrd head coach Jason Perdue.
#1 Bryce Martin (WB) d. Declan McCarthy (S) 6-1; 6-2
#2 Tim Elting (S) d. Zach Kemp (WB) 6-0; 6-3
#3 Zach Wright (WB) d. Mile Markovic (S) 3-6; 6-4; (10-5)
#4 Juan Hernandez (S) d. David Robey (WB) 6-1; 6-1
#5 Derek Critzer (S) d. Sagar Patadia (WB) 6-0; 6-2
#6 Sean Madagan (S) d. Brecken Settles (WB) 7-6 (7-2); 6-1
#1 Martin/Wright (WB) d. McCarthy/Elting (S) 8-5
#2 Alex Robertson/Critzer (S) d. Kemp/Settles (WB) 8-3
#3 Chris Blankenship/Mathew Araina (S) d. Patadia/ Zane Mixter (WB) 8-5