LAURINBURG — It looked like the perfect spring afternoon for tennis on Thursday, but 10 minutes for the Fighting Scots took the court against Richmond for their final Southeastern conference match — the rain clouds rolled in.
Head coach Atondra Ellis introduced her six seniors, Hunter Hopkins, Dawson Chavis, Shane Dubbs, Michael Tyson, Adam Wood and Daniel Johnson, before introducing each of the afternoon’s match ups.
Five minutes into the match, the clouds started to dump huge rain drops onto the court. The players continued with their matches until lightening was spotted and the courts had to be cleared for safety. Both teams made their way into the tennis center to wait out the rain.
Unfortunately for the Scots seniors, the rain didn’t let up in time for them to finish the match. The Scots will now take on Richmond on Monday, April 24 instead of playing their make-up match with South View. Ellis said she is going to try and reschedule that match for after the Southeastern conference tournament which starts on April 25.
The Scots were able to get one match in this week taking on the Pirates in Lumberton. Just like when the two teams met last month it came down to the doubles matches. The Scots won the singles match 4-2 and just needed one doubles win to secure victory, but couldn’t pull through as the Pirates picked up the 5-4 win.
“They (Lumberton) didn’t beat us — we beat us,” said Ellis. “They had a great doubles squad. Our problem was not being able to execute what we’ve practiced. We have to own this loss and that’s tough.”
Dubbs played first singles for the Scots and earned his first career win over Lumberton’s Dominic Dent with a third-set tiebreaker. Dubbs came out strong in the first set with a 6-1 win, but Dent made things interesting with a 6-4 second-set win. The two battled throughout the entire tiebreaker with Dubbs hitting several key shots to secure the 10-6 win.
Junior Ryan Phillips played just two sets against Lumberton’s Alex Wober falling 6-4 in both sets. The Scots other singles loss came on court No. 5 as Nate Dubbs fell to Lumberton’s Cole Lewis in two sets 6-1, 6-4.
Fellow junior Sam Poage has to play three sets to determine a winner in his match with Josh Britt. Normally Poage is a strong first-set competitor and struggles more in the second set to keep up his intensity — this match was the total opposite. Poage found his rhythm after losing the first set 6-2. The Scots junior came back to win the second set 6-1 before dominating the third-set tiebreaker, 10-5.
Nyjel Collins-Jackson and Drew Monroe were the other two singles victories for the Scots. Collins-Jackson downed Lumberton’s John Floyd, 6-0, 6-4 and Monroe, battling an knee injury topped Lumberton’s Jack Cherichella in two sets, 6-3, 6-2.
The Scots doubles couldn’t get it done against Lumberton falling in all three matches. Dubbs and Phillips took on Dent and Wober dropping that match, 8-3. It was a similar scene on courts two and three as Poage and Collins-Jackson lost their match, 8-4. N. Dubbs and Daniel Johnson also lost their match to the Pirates, 8-3.
The Scots sit at 7-5 overall and 5-3 in Southeastern conference. The Scots are in third place in the SEC standings behind Pinecrest (9-1) and Lumberton (7-2) and two games ahead of Richmond (4-5).
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.