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Tickets Punched

Northeastern, Currituck qualify for boys tennis regional

Eagles won league doubles title

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Northeastern's Taylor Carter during the Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament boys tennis doubles final against Currituck, Monday, April 23, 2018 at Currituck County High School.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BARCO — The Currituck and Northeastern boys tennis teams will be represented at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A East Regional next week.

NHS will send its doubles team of Taylor Carter and L.P. Hornthal to the regional after the doubles team won the Northeastern Coastal Conference individual tournament championship in windy conditions on Monday afternoon at Currituck County High School.

The duo, which was the No. 1 seed entering the league tournament, defeated the No. 2 seed in Currituck’s Josh Crisell and Hunter Goins 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

En route to the title, the NHS duo, which had a bye in the first round, defeated First Flight’s Max Stabley and Matthew Miller 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.

The dominate performance from Carter and Hornthal was what Northeastern coach April Turner expected from her seniors.

“I knew that if they connected that they were going to be unstoppable,” she said. “They showed up [Monday]. Their serves were on. They played really well at the net. They communicated.”

Along with the Hornthal and Carter, NHS had its entire team play during the tournament either in the singles or doubles bracket.

Monday’s match is likely the last match action for the Eagles before the first round of the NCHSAA 2A dual team state playoffs begin on May 2.

Turner acknowledged that playing tough opponents in the league tournament will help the rest of the team for the dual team playoffs next week.

Northeastern (9-0) will likely host a first-round match.

By virtue of reaching the doubles final, Crisell and Goins qualified for the regional on May 4-5 at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill.

The Northeastern Coastal Conference was given two entries each in singles and doubles to the regional.

Athletes that advanced to the tournament final in singles and doubles earned the bids to the regional.

The Knights will also be represented in singles play at the regional as Kaleb Kight advanced to the league tournament final.

Kight, a junior, recently was elevated to Currituck’s No. 1 singles and entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed to First Flight’s Lucien Steyn.

Kight received a bye into the semifinal round and won his first match Monday in a semifinal against First Flight’s Josh Miller with a 6-1, 6-3 result.

In the final, Steyn defeated Kight 6-1, 6-2 to secure the league singles tournament championship.

Currituck coach Vic Ramsey was pleased to qualify his No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles to the regional.

“We hoped that would be the case,” he said. “Our top three have been really competitive with everybody else in the conference this year. We thought we could get all three of them to regionals and we’re delighted that’s the way it turned out.”

The Currituck coach added that the Knights would have liked to win the finals matches, but gave credit to the Northeastern doubles team and Steyn in the singles final.

“We’re still alive with those three and we are looking forward to Snow Hill next week,” Ramsey said.

ALL-CONFERENCE

Before the start of the tournament, the season’s all-conference team was announced.

For the second consecutive spring, First Flight’s Lucien Steyn, a sophomore, was named the Northeastern Coastal Conference Player of the Year.

Joining Steyn on the all-conference team were teammates Joshua Miller and Max Stabley, Currituck’s Kaleb Kight, Josh Crisell and Hunter Goins, with Northeastern’s Taylor Carter, L.P. Hornthal and Michael Carter.

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