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The Titans run at a Group AA state title ends with a team loss and a doubles loss on Friday.
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
Hidden Valley's Sam Burton hits during the Group AA boys tennis semifinals at Virginia Tech's Tennis Center.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
BLACKSBURG — The future was now for Briar Woods tennis on Friday and it wasn’t a pretty sight for Hidden Valley.
Freshmen Sai Konuri and Vineeth Gaddam won critical singles matches as Briar Woods topped the Titans 5-3 to advance to today’s Group A state team final.
Konuri knocked off Grant Brown 6-4, 6-0 in No. 3 singles, while No. 6 Gaddam took care of Yavuz Durmaz 6-0, 6-2. Gaddam later capped off the day, pairing with Rupin Bhalla to defeat the Titans’ Ethan Bates and Matt Meteri 6-4, 6-2 to clinch the victory.
“Sai and Vinny played like men out there today,” Briar Woods head coach Jim Noland said. “You don’t see freshmen play like that too often.”
Briar Woods also got wins from No. 2 Bhalla over Bates 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 and No. 5 Pablo Bordas, who defeated Matt Myers, 6-1, 6-2.
Noland’s squad advances to take on E.C. Glass in today’s state championship. The Hilltoppers defeated John Handley 5-2 to earn their spot in the final.
For Hidden Valley it was a case of digging themselves into too big of a big hole. The Titans found themselves down 4-2 after singles, which Titan head coach Ryan Teague thought was critical.
“They really jumped on us. I was hoping that we’d come out of the singles at at least 3-3. That puts pressure on everybody in doubles,” Teague said. “They have a tough, deep lineup.”
The turning point of the day may have came in the Bhalla-Bates match. With the No. 2 players splitting the first two sets, their match was temporarily delayed at 1-1 in the third set and moved inside after a rain shower hit the Blacksburg area. Once inside, Bhalla took control of the match and picked up a big point for his team.
“I think their No. 2 guy [Bhalla] adjusted when they went inside,” Teague said. “I think he handled it better.”
Victories by No. 1 Tim Roehr over Kyle Mateyov 6-0, 6-0 and No. 4 Sam Burton over Michael Hwang 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) were bright spots for the Titans . In doubles, Roehr and Brown teamed up to down Mateyov and Bordas 6-3, 6-4.
Roehr and Brown also had a chance to play for a state title today in doubles, but they were defeated by John Handley’s Parker Wilson and Carter Watts, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8), in a semifinal match.
The doubles loss ended a busy day for Roehr, which he started with by attending graduation ceremonies Friday morning.
The senior exchange student from Germany said participating in both events was great, but the tennis matches were extra special.
“Everybody gets a chance to graduate, but not everybody makes it to states,” Roehr said.
Briar Woods 5, Hidden Valley 3
Tin Roehr (HV) d. Kyle Mateyov, 6-0, 6-0; Rupin Bhalla (BW) d. Ethan Bates, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3; Sai Konuri (BW) d. Grant Brown, 6-4, 6-0; Sam Burton (HV) d. Michael Hwang, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Pablo Bordas (BW) d. Matt Meyers, 6-1, 6-2; Vineeth Gaddam (BW) d. Yavuz Durmaz 6-0, 6-2.
Roehr and Brown (HV) d. Mateyov and Bordas, 6-3, 6-4; Bhalla and Gaddam (BW) d. Bates and Matt Meteri, 6-4, 6-2; Burton and Jake Elton (HV) led 7-6, 0-1 susp.
E.C. Glass 5, John Handley 2
Thacher Jennings (EC) d. Parker Wilson, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5); Nick Daly (EC) d. Matt Drunager, 6-1, 6-0; Luc Morternousque (EC) d. Taylor Watts, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6; Carter Watts (JH) d. Mitchell Swann, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; Jeb Brammer (EC) d. Buster Wigley, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Hamilton Merrick (JH) d. J.D. Bowden, 6-3, 6-4.
Daly and Morternousque (EC) d. C. Watts and Drunager 6-0, 6-2.
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