Science Hill’s Colin Ice and Thomas Young were still stinging from the disappointment of losing in the finals of the region individual tournament when they had to take the court for a Region 1-AAA team championship match against Morristown West.
No problem for the Hilltoppers’ No. 1 and No. 2 players, who breezed in their singles matches on Monday afternoon at the Liberty Bell Tennis Complex.
Ice defeated the Trojans’ Parker Ashford 6-1,6-3, and Young bested Jared Reed 6-2, 6-3 to lead Science Hill to a 4-0 victory.
“It was pretty disappointing to lose individuals, but it felt good to come back and help the team win,” Ice said. “It’s been a goal of ours to get to state this year.”
Ice felt his game was more consistent than it had been all season. It was certainly that way with his powerful serve after making some tweaks to his game.
“My serve has been a problem. That’s improved a lot this year,” Ice said. “Mentally, I had to keep in mind to keep my left shoulder up. When I let it down, the ball goes into the net or goes long. I was doing well with it today.”
Science Hill needs one more win to qualify for the state semfinals. Both the boys and girls squads will face Knox Catholic in a pair of sectional matches scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
“One to go for the boys and the girls,” Science Hill head coach D.C. Smith said. “It’s always a big feat when you win any round at this point of the game. It’s exciting for our boys who have done so much today. To be able to get to the sub-state for both the boys and girls is a tremendous accomplishment. I’m really proud of both of them.”
No. 4 seed Cameron Martin was the first to exit the court, taking a 6-1, 6-1 decision over West’s Nolan Sexton. Martin’s older brother, Cameron, defeated Jay Inman 6-4, 6-4 to end the official match.
The teams let the No. 5 seeds finish their singles match with Scinece Hill’s Parth Goenka rallying for a 2-6, 7-5, 10-7 win over Garrett Rice.
The head coach liked how his players, especially the top two seeds, battled back after facing adversity in the individual competition.
“I kind of expected them to play like that,” Smith said. “If you play in USTA tournaments, you get in the habit of playing a couple of matches a day. You may play two singles or two doubles. They did a good job taking care of it in straight sets. They really carried the ball today.”