Published: Mar 22, 2012 12:58 PM
Modified: Mar 22, 2012 03:58 PM
Apex boys tennis shuts out Cary
Cougars take down Cary
CARY - Apexs boys tennis team gathered for a team huddle following a 9-0 win over Cary at the middle of the Annie Jones Park courts.After a few post-match words from coach Lynn Thomas, the players put their hands together and shouted, Cougars!It may have looked and sounded like routine ritual in the world of high school sports, but actually it feels quite refreshing to Apex senior Graham Duncan. Apexs No. 1 player returned to the Cougars lineup after spending his junior year last season home-schooled and playing the junior tennis circuit.Its been a lot of fun, said Duncan after sweeping his singles matches 6-0, 6-0 and his No. 1 doubles match with Shivam Desai 8-1 on Wednesday. Ive known the guys for a long time and live in the same neighborhood with some of them. There are some nice guys out here and its a cool atmosphere.Duncan played his sophomore year for Apex (he was injured as a freshman) when he finished the year as the Tri-Nine Conference runner-up, losing to Apex teammate Wesley Barrett in the final. Barrett, now a sophomore at Old Dominion after playing his freshman year at Elon, went on to win the NCHSAA 4-A state title.We were happy to have him back, said Desai, a senior. He makes practice more challenging and everything more enjoyable. Were friends outside of tennis, too.Duncan not only provides Apex with a strong No. 1 player, his presence helps the rest of the team improve.Hes real good about encouraging the other players, said Thomas, Apexs first-year coach. He talks strategy with them. I think the team likes having him around. After the matches we go to dinner and he wants to come with us and have a good time with everybody.A year ago, Duncan said he was focused on the junior tennis circuit and earning a college scholarship. He played in 27 junior events last spring and committed last fall to Wofford. He felt that focus didnt allow for the time commitment to play high school tennis.What I enjoy about high school tennis is all the matches are across town and you know a lot of the guys youre playing, Duncan said. In junior tennis youre driving seven hours to tournaments. Its tough to play high school tennis and train (for the junior circuit) because well be out here past six oclock. That makes hit hard to lift weights and work on your game.In addition to Duncans victory at No. 1 singles and teaming with Desai at No. 1 doubles, Desai won at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-1.Other Apex singles players winning were junior Will Ostrom at No. 3, 6-0, 6-0; junior Taylor Schiess at No. 4, 6-4, 6-3; senior Erik Aldereguia at No. 5, 6-0, 6-0; and sophomore Kyle Klinek at No. 6, 6-0, 6-0.In other doubles matches, the No. 2 team of Ostrom and sophomore Cole Bowser won 8-1 and the No. 3 team of Aldereguia and sophomore Tanner Wilson won 8-4.Apex improved to 7-3 overall and 7-2 in Tri-Nine play. Carys record is 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the Tri-Nine.
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