WINSTON-SALEM — Whether they were tipping points or turning points, Bishop McGuinness took advantage of them and the momentum to post a 5-3 1A second-round win over Elkin at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center Tuesday.
Ryan Schell and Jacob Lyons both played perhaps their best tennis of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Villains won the matches they had to win.
“Somebody’s got to lose,” Elkin Coach Tony Duncan said. “These are two really high-level teams playing a high level of tennis.
“I told our guys when they got off the bus that we had to have our A game. We fell a little short.”
Schell was in a zone, dismantling Sam McLaughry 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1. It wasn’t that McLaughry didn’t play well; the match was about Schell.
“Ryan Schell is phenomenal,” Bishop McGuinness Coach Bob Weckworth said. “He set the tone early. For Sam to get three games was amazing.”
Lyons coasted to a win at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-1, and then teamed with Schell to win at No. 2 doubles, 10-1.
“Ryan and Jacob’s play was just stellar,” Duncan said. “I think Ryan lost four points the first set.”
One turning point came at No. 2 singles. After Bishop McGuinness’s Ben Jandzinski ran out to a 4-0 first set lead, Elkin’s David Bullin fought back to even it at 4-all.
The ninth game of the set was the game of the day. It took more than 40 points — and maybe 50 — to decide it. It was great tennis with rallies and seeing-eye shots. In the end, Jandzinski prevailed and took the momentum that came with it.
Jandzinski went up 4-0 in the second set — playing much like Schell had at No. 1. But Jandzinski double-faulted the fifth game away and Bullin took eight of the next 11 points to cut it to 4-3. Jandzinski, however, was able to break Bullin and went on to a 6-3 second set win.
Another turning point came at No. 3 singles where Zack Jones, down 4-2 after a service ace by Elkin’s Chad Vestal, went on to reel off 10 straight games in a 6-4, 6-0 win.
The last turning point came at No. 5 singles where Bishop McGuinness’s Andrew Balogh won a first-set tiebreaker and went on to a two-set win over Matthew Schumak.
With the Villains up 4-2 going into the doubles matches, the Buckin’ Elks faced a tall order. Wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles were possible, but Bullin and Vestal, Elkin’s No. 1 doubles team, would be up against perhaps the best 1A doubles team in the state: McLaughry and Jones.
“I just felt we had to win four,” Weckworth said. He called the Jandzinski’s win in the ninth game of the first set “the greatest game I’ve seen” and said the game “set the tone for the match.”
“We knew we had to win three,” Duncan said, “and we felt like we needed to win four singles. If we win three, we would have put the pressure on them.”
The Schell-Lyon doubles win cut the Bishop McGuinness lead to 4-3, but the Villains led both doubles matches 4-3. McLaughry and Jones then ran off six straight games to win 10-3 and clinch the match for the Villains.
With the match decided, the No. 3 doubles match - which Bishop McGuinness led 8-4 - was stopped.
In 2013, Elkin defeated the Villains in the regional final on the way to the state championship. Bishop McGuinness won the state championship in 2012. “It’s too bad we have to meet in the second round,” Weckworth said. “We should be meeting in the regional final.
“Seems to get to the championship, you have to go through either Elkin or Bishop McGuinness.”
“It was a good year,” Duncan said. “Good kids. This is nothing to hang our head over.”
Duncan said he did not find out the match was indoors until the team arrived at 3:30. Duncan said Weckworth told him that the university needed the outdoor courts during the time the match was played.
Singles — No. 1: Ryan Schell (E) def. Sam McLaughry 6-0, 6-3; No. 2: Ben Jandzinski (BM) def. David Bullin 6-4, 6-3; No. 3: Zack Jones (BM) def. Chad Vestal 6-4, 6-0; No. 4: Jacob Lyon (E) def. Jonathan Ingram 6-2, 6-1; No. 5: Andrew Balogh (BM) def. Matthew Schumak 7-6(3), 6-1; No. 6: Will Shannon (BM) def. Jarrett Peterson 6-2, 6-0.
Doubles — No. 1: McLaughry-Jones (BM) def. Bullin-Vestal 10-3; No. 2: Schell-Lyon (E) def. Jandzinski-Ingram 10-1; No. 3: Balogh-Chinnasami (BM leading Peterson-Schumak 8-4, incomplete.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.