On April 14, Hough freshman Ryan Wydra became the 2011 I-MECK 4A conference boys tennis champion. In the tournament finals, Wydra defeated Mooresville’s Jake Combs in three sets – 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 – to earn the No. 1 seed out of the I-MECK for the 4A Western Regional tournament.
The I-MECK’s top five tournament finishers qualified for regionals, which begin May 6 at south Charlotte’s Ardrey Kell High. Combs, along with Hough’s Collin Black and Lake Norman High’s Shravan Rajan, advanced to the regionals after reaching the conference tournament semifinals. Hopewell’s Danny Wintermeier, the Titans’ fifth seed during the regular season, won two consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to secure the final regional tournament bid.
It was an all-Hopewell doubles final for the second consecutive season in the I-MECK. Tyler Roberts and John Armato defeated John David Curlis and Brian Andersen 6-1, 6-1 to take home the doubles title and earn the league’s No. 1 regional seed. The winning pair is 20-0 this season. With a victory in the doubles semifinals, Curlis captured his 100th career singles or doubles win. Curlis is a four-year starter and now four-time regional qualifier.
The Titans are coming off their second consecutive conference title and fifth championship since 2004. They are ranked 10th in the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association standings. Although the dual-team playoff bracket hadn’t been released at The Herald Weekly’s press time, Hopewell coach Craig Smith surmised that the Titans would play Southwest Guilford. The match will be played on either May 2 or May 3.