The Class 4A state boys tennis playoffs begin on Tuesday.
Region champions Lexington and Spring Valley and Irmo have earned first-round home matches.
Region 5 champion Lexington, which has home court advantage all the way through to the Final Four if it keeps winning, hosts region rival Aiken this afternoon. Region 4 champion Spring Valley is at home against Clover. Irmo, the Region 5 runner-up, hosts West Ashley, Otherwise, Blythewood is at Fort Mill, Ridge View hits the road to face Region 3 champion Nation Ford, Dutch Fork is at Beaufort and Richland Northeast draws Region 8 champion Summerville.
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The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 17-1 overall record and a 14-0 grade in Region 5 matches.
Lexington’s starters include Gordon Lucas (12-2, 10-0 in region) at No. 1, Parker Adkins at No. 2, Ross Sons (12-2, 9-1) at No. 3, William Lightle (14-1, 12-1) at No. 4 and Logan Adkins (11-2, 9-0) at No. 5. The Wildcats doubles rotation of Brian Lim, Grayson Hill and Trey Swearingen sports a combined 10-3 record.
The Wildcats run of seven straight championship matches appearances ended last season when they dropped a 4-2 decision to archrival Irmo in the Lower State championship/state semifinal round.
The Yellow Jackets closed with a 13-3 overall regular season record and a 12-2 mark in region matters. Lexington (twice) and Camden are the only teams to beat Freddy Goodman’s team to date.
Irmo ran the table in the Lower State playoffs last season, advancing to the state championship match for the first time since winning the 4A championship in 2001 under Bill Porter. The Jackets fell in the finale against Greenwood.
The Jackets singles lineup includes Paul Reed (12-7 with six of the losses coming in tiebreakers), Jasdeep Guram (6-3) at No. 2, Reid Baird (12-5) at No. 3, Clint Bulter (13-1) at No. 4 and Zack Wooten (13-1) at No 5.
John Rast and Wesley Turbevillle are the prime men at No. 2 doubles. Rast is 14-0 and Turbevillle is 13-1.
The young Blazers enjoyed their most successful season in John Combs’ six years as head coach this spring, finishing 6-6 overall, 5-5 in Region 4. The highlights were rare wins over Richland 2 district rivals Spring Valley and Richland Northeast.
The RV lineup features sophomore Cameron Dunn at No. 1 singles, seventh-grader Trevor Dunn at No. 2 singles, junior David Jennings at No. 3 singles, sophomore Kyle Edwards at No. 4 singles, Patrick McClelland at No. 5 singles and junior Ben Smick and Zach Stoxen at No. 2 doubles.