SCISAA region rivals Porter-Gaud and Hilton Head Prep met for the third time this season on Friday at the Charleston Tennis Center, and for the third time it was Porter-Gaud that pulled out a narrow victory, 5-4, to capture the SCISAA state championship for the third time in four seasons.
The Cyclones defeated Hilton Head Prep twice during the regular season, by scores of 6-3 and 5-4, and capped off their undefeated year with another 5-4 win over the Dolphins.
"The team did spectacularly well," Hilton Head Prep coach Clint Van Aswegen said. "It came down exactly like I thought it would come down -- to 3 and 4 singles and number 2 doubles."
Porter-Gaud (15-0) won two of those three decisive battles -- at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles -- to help secure back-to-back state championships.
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"It was a great match. It was fun," Van Aswegen said. "We were in it right until the end."
Hilton Head Prep took the top two singles matches, as Andrew Schafer and Jared Woodson won in straight sets. The two also teamed up for a victory at No. 1 doubles.
For Schafer, it capped off an eventful week. He was participating in a USTA pro circuit tournament in Vero Beach, Fla., all week before losing Thursday. Schafer drove back that night, arriving home just before midnight, and then was back on the bus with his Hilton Head Prep teammates Friday morning.
But even Schafer's return couldn't help the Dolphins (10-3) overcome their region rival. Hilton Head Prep was trying for its second state title in three years.
Singles: No. 1 Andrew Schafer (HHP) def. Thomas Spratt 6-3, 7-6; No. 2 Jared Woodson (HHP) def. Seth Pinosky 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 Payne Hoy (PG) def. Colton Lavery 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Amit Kohli (HHP) def. Connor Grady 6-2, 4-6, 10-7; No. 5 Brant Fenno (PG) def. Matt Kandell 6-0, 6-2; No. 5 Foster Moe (PG) def. Angelo Carrabba 6-1, 6-2
Doubles: No. 1 Schafer/Woodson (HHP) def. Spratt/Pinosky 6-4, 6-2; No. 2 Hoy/Grady (PG) def. Lavery/Kohli 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 Fenno/Moe (PG) def. Jack Kelly/Kandell 6-1, 6-3