Practices for Western Albemarle’s boys tennis team with the Warriors’ loaded lineup are, for lack of a more precise term, challenging.
“It’s like we’re playing a match basically every day in practice,” said Western’s No. 4 Jack Tribble. “High level match play even when we’re not playing matches that count really helps us play more efficient in the actual match.”
It allows the Warriors to plot the most calculated, rapidfire way to put away their opponent because wasted shots will doom a player in practice when the competition is as fierce as the Warriors’ own top six.
That ruthless efficiency was on display Thursday afternoon as the Warriors dispatched Rockbridge 6-0 in under an hour to win the Class 3, Region C championship. Western will now host in the first round of the Class 3 state tournament after completing regional singles and doubles.
“We’ve just been playing more relaxed as we’ve added some more skill to our team,” Tribble said.
The Warriors rolled over Rockbridge, the tournament’s No. 7 seed who’d made a startling run to the final by knocking off the No. 2 and 3 seeds to earn a state tournament spot. Five of the Warriors’ top six won 6-0, 6-0 with Daniel Thomas beating his opponent at No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-1. Gavin Seagraves, Alex Ix, Tribble, Nicholas Hagspiel and Simon Rader all swept their opponents.
Western 6, Rockbridge 0
Class 3, Region C Championship
Gavin Seagraves (Western) def. Shane Kearney 6-0, 6-0
Alex Ix (WA) def. Noah Gysceck 6-0, 6-0
Daniel Thomas (WA) def. Gabe Slayton 6-0, 6-1
Jack Tribble (WA) def. Jacob Feldman 6-0, 6-0
Nicholas Hagspiel (WA) def. Michael Shires 6-0, 6-0
Simon Rader (WA) def. Nic Benyke 6-0, 6-0