There was a bizarre moment in Albemarle boys tennis’ match that stretched over two days against Atlee in the Conference 16 semifinals.
Charlie Shepherd had recently cranked things up a notch in his match at No. 1 singles. Shepherd was in position to win during the tiebreaker up 6-5, Atlee’s Jack Snider hit a lob over Shepherd’s head that landed near the baseline. Snider, thinking the ball was out, preceded to the net to shake hands and congratulate Shepherd. Shepherd hadn’t called the ball out and he actually thought he was down 6-5, so he thought he’d lost the match and shook hands with Snider congratulating Snider on his win. After both players exited the court, they were called back to finish the match with the tiebreaker tied at 6-6. Shepherd won the next two matches, earning his 100th career victory and helping Albemarle’s chances of pulling out the win.
The Patriots went to doubles all tied up but couldn’t finish off a resilient Atlee squad that pulled off a 5-3 victory to keep their season alive. Albemarle’s wins came from Sheppard, at No. 4 singles by Jack Stalfort (who was unbeaten at No. 4 this season) and from Will Hathaway at No. 6.
In doubles, Atlee’s top two teams dominated their Albemarle counterparts, winning 6-3, 6-2 on court one and 6-2, 6-1 on court two. Albemarle’s No. 3 team of Stalfort and Ethan Matthews continued their impressive doubles play, winning the first set 6-2 and were tied 2-2 in the second set when play was halted. Their only blemish of the season came at the hands of Western Albemarle when they lost 11-10 (10-8).
Charlie Shepherd, Doyeop Kim, Sam Conner, and Sean McGovern will compete in the Conference 16 individual singles and doubles championships beginning Monday, May 16 at Albemarle High School.
Atlee 5, Albemarle 3
- Charlie Shepherd (ALB) d. Jack Snider, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
- Jacob Deaton (ATL) d. Doyeop Kim, 6-1, 6-0
- Will Ford (ATL) d. Sam Conner, 1-6, 6-1, 6-0
- Jack Stalfort (ALB) d. Jack Emerson, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
- Josh Durbin (ATL) d. Henry Forsyth, 7-5, 6-2
- Will Hathaway (ALB) d. Nathan Sebring, 6-2, 6-2
- Sinder & Keaton (ATL) d. Shepherd & Kim, 6-3, 6-2
- Emerson & Durbin (ATL) d. Conner & McGovern, 6-2, 6-1
- Matthews & Stalfort (ALB) led Ford & Sebring, 6-2, 2-2 (DNF)