That last time the Bluffton and Summerville boys teams got together on the tennis court, the Bobcats snuck out with a road victory by the slimmest of margins, 4-3.
History did not repeat itself Tuesday.
The visiting Green Wave rolled to a convincing 4-1 victory at Bluffton High School, handing the Bobcats their second Region 8-AAAA loss of the season.
If their previous faceoff handed the advantage to Bluffton in region play, then Tuesday's loss relegated the Bobcats to the back seat, with Summerville owning the tiebreaker by virtue of matches won.
"They flat, square beat us," head coach Bob Brown said. "That's all there is to it. I mean, they beat us decisively."
Things got off to a rocky start on Court 1 as Summerville junior Adam Elliget, one of the state's top players, overpowered junior Aaron Newland 6-1, 6-2. That was followed by a Green Wave victory at Court 2, with Adam Seith topping senior Richard Snyder, 6-1, 6-2. Brown said Snyder was not feeling well at the start of the match, which may have put him off his game.
It got no better at Court 3 or Court 4. Senior Davis Rosenblum kept things close, but couldn't overcome Summerville's Walker Long, who closed with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in a match that was closer than the final tally indicated. Senior Morgan Philoxene held an early one-set lead at No. 4, but eventually lost a tiebreak, 5-7, 6-1, 10-7.
The Bobcats' lone victory for the afternoon came on Court 5, where senior Matthew Bornstein held off a late rally to win 7-5, 7-5.
The loss drops Bluffton to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in region play heading into its last two league contests against Fort Dorchester and Beaufort High. That final match next Tuesday against the Eagles is even more important for the Bobcats in light of the tough afternoon against Summerville. Brown said his team was outworked, and that some lingering injuries didn't do his squad any favors. He hopes his team will bounce back over the next week, and is looking to the team's many veteran players to set the tone.
"Seniors have to lead us," Brown said. "This is the best team I've ever had. You have to want it a fantastic amount. (Summerville) were strong one to five. They came at us today, and they were the better team."
Summerville 4, Bluffton 1
Singles: No. 1 Adam Elliget (S) def. Aaron Newland 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 Adam Seith (S) def. Richard Snyder 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 Walker Long (S) def. Davis Rosenblum 6-4, 6-3; No. 4 Brandon Sekula (S) def. Morgan Philoxene 5-7, 6-1, 10-7; No. 5 Matthew Bornstein (B) def. Jack Hazel 7-5, 7-5