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Knightdale tennis shows improvement with win over Rolesville

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ROLESVILLE — After showing steady improvement through the first two weeks of the season, the Knightdale boys tennis team entered the coronavirus version of the all-star break with a convincing 8-1 win over the Rolesville Rams on the road March 12.

“The boys have had a tough start to the season with weather creating major issues for scheduling practice,” said Knightdale head coach Cody Wire. “Then they did well against Wake Forest, one of the tougher teams in the conference. They came off that match hungry and really went after Rolesville for their first win.”

The team lost its first two matches 7-1 and 8-1 to Enloe and Heritage, respectively. They were more competitive against Wake Forest, losing 6-3, before taking on Rolesville.

Senior Jud Brooks got things started for the Knights against the Rams, winning 6-0, 6-0 in No. 3 singles. Lewis Richardson notched the next win, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. The wins were the first of the season in singles for both Brooks, who is in his fourth year on the team, and Richardson, a junior running back on the football team who is new to tennis.

Senior Darius Ogundele won at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-1, to give the Knights a 3-0 lead. Mekhi Patterson, a freshman, won at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 6-0, for his first singles victory ever.

Jackson Beam clinched the win for the team by beating Nicholas Stewart at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-2.

“Jackson has led the way for us, going 4-0 in singles so far,” Wire said.

The Knights suffered their only loss of the match when Stephen Fennell lost in a tiebreaker at the No. 5 singles, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0. The boys completed their win by sweeping all three doubles matches.

High school sports have been suspended until April 6 at the earliest as the state tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Knights would like to play again to continue their improvement.

“We’re hoping we get a chance to finish the season,” Wire said.