Bishop McGuinness’ dream season in boys tennis came to an end Saturday at the Burlington Tennis Center.
McGuinness was undefeated before Saturday’s NCHSAA Class 1-A dual-team championship, but Research Triangle rolled to a 5-2 win to secure the title.
It’s the first state championship of any kind for Research Triangle (20-1) since the school opened five years ago
“We didn’t win, but we got there,” said Coach Larry Ingram of the Villains. “So we’re part of the top two 1-A schools in North Carolina. That’s nothing shabby.”
McGuinness (17-1) fell short of winning its first title since 2014.
“It’s just devastating, to be honest with you,” said Jimmy Dasher, one of four seniors for the Villains.
The Raptors dominated at Nos. 1-4 singles. John Hankinson defeated Henry Kirby 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1, Sebastian Rodriguez defeated Sam McDonald 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2, Ronik Grewal defeated Alex Chinnasami 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 and Lucas Trepanier defeated Dasher 6-1, 6-4.
“They’re a very good team,” Ingram said. “I don’t think we’ve faced anybody like them in quite a while. They’re a young team, big serves, big groundstrokes. I mean they were a powerful, powerful team.”
McGuinness inched back into the match after No. 6 Ivo Pestana upended Ahaan Patkar 6-1, 6-1 to make it 4-1.
And facing losing without having a chance in doubles, McGuinness clawed back with a win at No. 5 singles after Bobby Peters defeated Namh Lahade 4-6, 6-4 and 10-4 in a third-set tiebreak.
“We made it to doubles,” Ingram said. “And we’re pretty strong in doubles. Their doubles teams were really, really strong. They were great net players, good servers.”
Chinnasami and Kirby played No. 1 doubles, but Chinnasami pulled a hamstring during the match, and they lost to Rodriguez and Grewal 10-3 to clinch the win for Research Triangle.
“We could’ve played better in singles, maybe put ourselves in a better situation, but we didn’t,” Chinnasami said. “And it’s just unfortunate that it had to end this way.”’
Research Triangle 5 Bishop McGuinness 2
Singles: John Hankinson (Research Triangle) def. Henry Kirby 6-3, 6-2; Sebastian Rodriguez (Research Triangle) def. Sam McDonald 6-0, 6-1; Ronik Grewal (Research Triangle) def. Alex Chinnasami 6-3, 6-2; Lucas Trepanier (Research Triangle) def. Jimmy Dasher 6-1, 6-4; Bobby Peters (Bishop McGuinness) def. Namh Lahade 4-6, 6-4, (10-4); Ivo Pestana (Bishop McGuinness) def. Ahaan Patkar 6-1, 6-1
Doubles: Sebastian Rodriguez-Ronik Grewal (Research Triangle) def. Henry Kirby-Alex Chinnasami 10-3; John Hankinson-Lucas Trepanier (Research Triangle) led Sam McDonald-Jimmy Dasher 9-2, DNF; Namh Lahade & Ahaan Patkar (Research Triangle) vs. Bobby Peters-Ivo Pestana (Bishop McGuinness) 8-8, DNF
Records: Bishop McGuinness 17-1, Research Triangle 20-1
MVP: Ronik Grewal (Research Triangle)
Sportsmanship Awards: John Hankinson (Research Triangle) & Alex Chinnasami (Bishop McGuinness)