Spring Valley defeated Nation Ford, 4-2, at home on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the Class 4A tennis tournament.
“We’ve got a pretty good 1-2-3 lineup. We felt pretty confident coming in, with the top of our lineup being very strong,” Vikings coach Weslynn Hutto said. “Our No. 1 and No. 2 guys can pretty much guarantee you three points, so even if four didn’t win, we believe we can come out with our No. 1 doubles and get that last point.”
But that was not necessary on Tuesday.
Brent Lett led the Vikings with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles, and the Vikings swept the top four singles matches in straight sets.
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Nation Ford’s Jonathan Habbick and Chris Tapp battled to a 7-6, 6-4 win against the Vikings’ young No. 2 doubles team of Vikrauth Reddy and Jonathan Habbick.
Hutto counted the balance of youth and experience on her team as a positive for the Vikings and said Lett and Connor Burke have helped elevate the play of the squad from top to bottom.
Hutto said she tried to challenge the Vikings with non-region opponents from around the state, and the team has risen to each challenge. The Vikings have lost one match this season, to J.L. Mann, 4-3.
The Vikings will face the winner of the J.L. Mann-Dorman match in Thursday’s Upper State final.
“The two opponents that we could inherit, either of those two are going to be a handful,” Hutto said. “If my guys play like they can, we have a great chance. It’s going to be a tough one though.”
Singles: Brent Lett (SV) d. Madison Ott 6-0, 6-2; Connor Burke (SV) d. Stephen Zoeller 6-0, 6-1; Blake McGuirt (SV) d. Chase Mahrlig 6-0, 6-2; Nick Nishnic (SV) d. Ben Herman 6-2, 6-2; Arif Siddiqi (NF) d. David Habbick (SV) 6-1, 6-1. Doubles: Chris Tapp/Jonathan Habbick (NF) d. Vikrauth Reddy/Justin Stombler 7-6, 6-4