ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior boys tennis team’s hopes for remaining undefeated on the season came down to the final two doubles matches with Lumberton.
A win in either of those contests would have given the Raiders the victory.
Instead, Lumberton swept both to claim a 5-4 win over Richmond in a Southeastern Conference match Thursday afternoon.
“They had a good team,” Richmond coach Paula York said about Lumberton. “They hit the ball well and moved well. At the end, I think they had more experience which helped them. I think we let up a little bit at the end.”
After splitting the six singles matches, Richmond (5-1, 2-1) earned a point to move in front with a victory at No. 1 doubles. Alex and Colt Auman teamed to stop Mike Bailey and Connor Haskins, 8-2.
Lumberton knotted the contest when Isaac Bell and Tyler Franklin downed Andrew Balzer and Brandon Ingram at No. 2 doubles, 8-2.
Moments later, Garrett Thompson and Anderson Branch closed out the match for the Pirates with an 8-2 victory over Ryan McInnis and Greg Balzer.
In singles, Alex Auman cruised past Bailey, 6-0, 6-1, while Colt Auman defeated Bell, 6-2, 6-1. Haskins knocked off Balzer, 6-3, 6-4. Tyler Franklin beat McInnis, 6-2, 6-1, while Thompson breezed past Ingram, 6-1, 6-1. Richmond’s Juan Olmos downed Trevor Franklin, 6-3, 6-3.
“Lumberton is the toughest team we have played so far,” York said. “We are going to see how strong we are on Monday. We have a tough week next week.”
The Raiders will travel to Union Pines at 4:30 p.m. Monday for a nonconference clash before returning to SEC play the next day at Pinecrest. Richmond closes out the week Thursday at Scotland.
“Those are going to be four of our toughest matches all year,” York said. “We will see how we respond to the loss on Monday.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org