The Clinton Dark Horses tennis team won yet another playoff match without having to play doubles, cruising to a 5-1 win North Lenoir in the third round at home Monday to advance to the East Regional Championship.
“This is the second straight year that we made to the East Regional Championship,” head coach Robert Jones said. “I’ll admit, I was a little worried at the start of the season with me losing three guys, but Coop (Cooper Brewen), Peter (Darden) and Camden (Thompson) have really stepped up and have done well this season — my bottom three as well, especially Sammy (Sutter) who came later in the season and has played well and has really help us out.”
The Horses surely earned their spot for the fourth round after the dominating performance at North Lenoir. While the overall match saw some sloppy play from the home team here and there, they got it together which led to a huge win.
Doing what they do best, the Horses claimed four of their five singles wins in straight sets. Getting the first win of the day at court two was Darden. That was followed by Sutter at six, Thompson at three and then Trevor Leggett at five to give Clinton a 4-0 lead.
With one win left to acquire to keep the Horses from playing doubles, none other than Brewen came through to seal the deal. At court one, Brewen had his hands full, dropping the first set to Hawks freshman standout Shane Swindell. However, Brewen came back to win the second set before going on to claim the tiebreaker set to clinch the match for the Horses and avoid doubles play.
“I think we did really good today despite this hot weather,” said Darden. “We’ve got some tough opponents to face in the next round so we’ve got to make sure we’re prepared going forward, especially mentally.”
The Dark Horses move to 14-0 with the win. They were to host the Carrboro Jaguars for the East Regional Championship on Tuesday to determine who faces Burlington for the state championship. See clintonnc.com for results.