Wydra capped standout season with a doubles title
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – It’s hard for a champion to willingly step aside. But Hough High tennis player Ryan Wydra did and remained a champion.
In the high school tennis postseason, players can compete in singles or doubles. Not both. Wydra was the I-MECK 4A conference singles champion last year. This year, he and friend Collin Black decided to enter as a doubles team.
The Huskies duo won the conference championship and advanced to the regional and state tournaments.
“It was Collin’s senior year,” said Wydra, a sophomore. “We decided we were going to go as hard as we could at doubles. At the same time, we wanted to have fun and not be stressed. It was a really good time. To win conference was awesome. It benefited everyone.”
Wydra, Hough’s No. 1 singles player, is the Herald Weekly Boys Tennis Player of the Year for the second straight time. He was 13-3 overall and won 21 of 26 sets.
Hough was 9-3 in dual-team tournaments and finished second to Lake Norman in the I-MECK 4A conference. When the postseason began, individual goals were set aside.
“They both agreed they’d probably go further in the doubles,” Hough coach Alice Hansen said. “It was their decision. It was pretty challenging for them because they’re our top two singles players. Ryan’s determined. He listens, and he’s not arrogant. He can take criticism and can change things around.”
Wydra’s potent kick serve often swung opponents wide, which made for easy volleys by Black at the net. Their communication – vital for doubles teams – added to the success.
Wydra spent the season as Hough’s No. 1 singles player, and Black was No. 2. They never challenged each other to possibly switch positions. All for the good of the team, Wydra said.
“Yes, tennis is an individual sport, but it’s a team sport at the same time,” he said. “You don’t get bonus points for winning court one, it’s just as many points as winning court six (in singles). It’s a different mindset. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the good of the team. If it’s for the good of the school, then absolutely.”