Spring Valley has stamped itself as the team to beat in Class 4A boys tennis. The Vikings improved to 15-0 by winning four matches on the way to claiming the Champions Challenge title in Georgetown. The elite tournament featured six teams that either won state or region championships last season.
The most telling verdict of all was a win against two-time defending state champion West Florence – the team that eliminated the Vikings in the Lower State title match in both 2007 and 2008.
“The tournament used a scoring system that was new to me and the kids, but we played very well and faced outstanding competition,” said SV coach Matt Herms.
Spring Valley also beat Class 2A power Waccamaw and downed Chapel Hill (NC) two times along the way, including the finale.
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No. 2 singles man Brent Lett and the crack doubles team of Joe Cunningham and Trey Fuinch were the only Viking entries to 4-0. Lett, who has not dropped as much as a set this season and is the top ranked USTA 14 year old in South Carolina, is now 13-0 at either No. 2 or No. 1 singles. The Cunningham-Finch duo improved to 11-0, and Cunningham is 14-0 overall in doubles this spring.
The rest of the SV lineup came away with 2-2 individual records. Ashkon Babaee is now 10-3 at No. 1 singles. No. 3 singles starter Hampton Drake was not on hand, meaning Kenan Sakarcan and Connor Burke move up one spot in the order with Nick Nichnic taking on the No. 5 singles role. Sakarcan is 11-2, Burkes is 12-2 and Nichnic stands at 5-0 in singles play.
Lett and Babaee teamed up for the first time in doubles this season, and went 2-2.