On Monday afternoon, the eighth seeded Alleghany Mountaineers varsity boys tennis team pulled off the upset and eliminated number one seeded Grayson County Blue Devils 5-3 in the first round of the Region 2C Tournament.
“Very happy for them. They never gave up when things looked bleak. To beat a top seed like Grayson, it took a total team effort”, said Mountie head coach, Seth Davis on his teams victory Monday.
It’s the second year in a row that the Mounties have knocked off the Devils in the regional tournament. Last season, the Blue Devils were also the top seed and at the time were undefeated prior to their loss to the Mounties.
The Blue Devils had entered their first round of regionals with one loss and jumped on the Mounties early by taking a 3-1 lead before the Mounties answered with four straight wins, two singles, and two doubles.
“They were similar (this year and last year wins) in the fact we were down 1-3 last year. Grayson’s top five returned for this year and we had three started back. The new guys have blended in; Andrew, Eli, and Coy, played a huge role today. The “veterans” of our team never got rattled and they lead by example”, said Davis on the comparisons of the two victories over the Blue Devils back to back seasons.
Down 2-0, senior, Baron Leitch, put the Mounties in the win column with an 8-4 singles victory.
Freshman, Eli Entsminger and sophomore, Andrew Cole, followed with back to back singles wins to tie the match at 3-3.
“(We) Had big wins by Eli Entsminger (held off his opponents rally) and Andrew Cole. He was down 2-6 and came back to win. Baron, played great and he and Maddox jumped on them early in doubles. No one who lost in singles lost in doubles. Maddox and Coree came back to play well. Coree and Coy Brown clinched in the overall match. They were tied 5-5 and pulled away. Nathan Clark played hard and had a good attitude”, said Davis on some of the wins his team had today.
Entsminger, who had over 20 wins during the regular season between singles and doubles continued making strides with a big singles victory for the Mounties that helped get the team on the comeback trail.
“His first serve is really coming along. He’s coachable and he’s becoming more consistent in his ground strokes. For a freshman to come in and have a winning record as a four seed, that says a lot. His athleticism helps him do a lot of things, and we will continue to get a lot better”, said David on Entsminger’s performance.
Anyone who see’s a lower ranked seed defeat a top ranked seed considers it to be an upset. And sure it is based on rankings. Coaches have different takes on how the matchups fair to be.
“It was an upset seeding wise and record wise, but the Three Rivers District really prepares us for tough teams. I’m glad our guys got “paid” for a close match. We lost 4-5 to both Riverheads and Glenvar the second time around and showed improvement. We got over the hump Grayson, but we have to play well against Floyd”, said Davis.
The Mounties are back on the tennis court of Virginia Tech tomorrow in the semifinals against the Floyd County Buffaloes at 10:15 a.m. The Mounties were 0-2 against the Buffaloes, losing 6-3 and 7-2.
The Region 2C tournament is down to all four from the Three Rivers Distract. The other semifinal is #2 Radford versus #6 Glenvar.
“We have to focus on each and every shot and continue to play well. Floyd is a very good team and I think we’ll be up to the challenge. They’re well coached and they are a classy program. We’ll give it everything we have”, said Davis on the semifinal match against the Buffaloes on Tuesday.
Meanwhile in the regionals doubles tournament, Leitch and Maddox Crance are the number one overall seed and will play in their doubles tournament Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday in the singles tournament, Leitch, is also going in as the number one seed and will have his first match that day.
The tournament is separate from the regional tournament.