Tied 3-3 after the singles competition, three doubles matches would decide Monday’s showdown between tennis powerhouses Bishop McGuinness and Elkin.
With Elkin down simultaneously 7-4 in all three doubles matches, it appeared the Villains were headed for a 6-3 win. However, Jacob Lyon and Matthew Schumak won four straight games to take an 8-7 lead at No. 2, followed by Ryan Schell and David Bullin at No. 1.
Bishop McGuinness claimed the No. 3 doubles match and Jonathan Ingram and Ben Jandzinski rallied to win at No. 2 as the Villains clinched the match with wins four and five.
Schell and Bullin finished off their comeback to win 10-7 at No. 1 and give the Buckin’ Elks a fourth victory.
“That was a good one,” Elkin Coach Tony Duncan said. “I was really proud of our ability to fight through some adversity.
“That’s a very solid team. They’re a little more battle-tested than we are.”
Even though Elkin lost two of the three doubles matches, Duncan was happy with what he saw. “That was their best doubles look,” Duncan said. “The team we put out there played hard, fought hard.”
“It was a high-intensity match so that’s always good,” Bishop McGuinness Coach Bob Weckworth said. “Both teams showed their rust from lack of competition, but I thought we showed some mettle in the No. 2 doubles match.
“Any time you can get a win over Elkin, it’s a good day. We’ve developed a healthy rivalry.”
It was the only look the 2012 1A state champion (Bishop McGuinness) and the 2013 1A state champion (Elkin) will get of each other before the playoffs. “I learned about him,” Duncan said of Weckworth. “And he learned about me.
“I just think it’s two very evenly matched teams. It’s a matter of who’s playing well that day.”
“These are the best two teams in the state,” Weckworth said. “It should come down to one of us May 14 (the date of the regional final).”
Elkin fell to 7-1 with the loss. They played East Wilkes Tuesday and will travel to North Wilkes Thursday.
Singles — No. 1: Ryan Schell (E) def. Sam McLaughry 6-3, 6-1; No. 2: David Bullin (E) def. Zack Jones 6-2, 6-2; No. 3: Jacob Lyon (E) def. Jonathan Ingram 6-1, 6-2; No. 4: Andrew Balogh (B) def. Matthew Schumak 7-5, 6-1; No. 5: Will Shannon (B) def. Garrett Peterson 7-6(4), 6-4; No. 6: Lance Dittrich (B) def. Reed Turner 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles — No. 1: Schell/Bullin (E) def. McLaughry/Jones 10-7; No. 2: Ingram/Ben Jandzinski (B) def. Lyon/Schumak 10-8; No. 3: Balogh/Adam Chinnizami def. Peterson/Turner 10-5.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.