Tone Set: Albemarle boys tennis sweeps Patrick Henry to open postseason

Photo by Bart Isley

Albemarle knew that Tuesday wasn’t just about advancing. It was about setting a tone for the postseason that’s suddenly upon them.


“We definitely wanted to come out and play strong because we’ve had a lot of matches missed because of rain and a lot of other situations,” said Albemarle’s top-seed David Sun. “It was good we came out and all played strong.”


The Patriots rolled 5-0 over Patrick Henry-Roanoke in the Class 5, Region D quarterfinals. The easy win showed an elevated game and a sharpened focus for the Patriots,


“I was a little concerned and I even told them in the prematch talk that we’re not quite where we want to be,” said Albemarle coach Chip Grobmyer. “I said ‘I’ve had other teams that have been playing their best tennis and this team that’s not necessarily so but you’re close.”


Sun got them even closer and helped set the tone, rolling 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Sun has been bringing a big-time approach to the top of the ladder for four years now for the Patriots, and he gives Albemarle a rock at the spot.


“We will miss David tremendously next year,” Grobmyer said. “It’s what he does and the confidence he instills in the other players, it’s just tremendous.”


No. 5 Benny Bigler-Wang also won 6-0, 6-0. With Jack Stalfort winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, Lucas Balcells winning 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 and Ethan Matthews winning 6-1, 6-0 at the six spot, Albemarle rolled and secured a spot in the Region 5D semifinals, on the road against Stafford.


The Patriots will face Stafford Wednesday with a state tournament berth on the line.


Albemarle 5, Patrick Henry-Roanoke 0

  1. David Sun (AHS) def. Devin Overton 6-0, 6-0
  2. Jack Stalfort (AHS) def. Travis Hilton 6-1, 6-1
  3. Lucas Balcells (AHS) def. Brendyn Miles  6-1, 6-0
  4. Henry Forsyth (AHS) versus Brody Davis (6-1, 4-1 DNF)
  5. Benny Bigler-Wang (AHS) def. Anthony Laconte 6-0, 6-0
  6. Ethan Matthews (AHS) def.  Henry Holbrook 6-1, 6-0