WESLEY CHAPEL — The Class 2A, District 6 boys tennis tournament at Wesley Chapel was up for grabs going into the second day of play Thursday, but Mitchell made sure it stepped up to the challenge against perennial favorite Land O'Lakes.
And Thursday eventually became just a smooth day for the Mustangs as they edged the Gators by three points for the district title, their first since 2002. Mitchell (14 points) will host Crystal River on Tuesday and Land O'Lakes (11 points) will travel to Nature Coast.
"I changed my lineup the fourth match into the season because I lost my No. 2," Mitchell coach Carrie Page said. "So everybody had to move up, and it was even harder for my guys at that point.
"My guys stepped up and raised the bar and now look where we are."
Land O'Lakes No. 1 singles seed Collin Roller secured his third consecutive trip to state, making easy work of Wesley Chapel No. 1 Cameron Roth 6-2, 6-0. Roller would also help out the Gators' No. 1 doubles team, as he and teammate Harrison Luong defeated Wesley Chapel's Roth and Diego Armas 6-2, 6-3.
"It's nice to play at home because you know those courts, but it will definitely be a challenge playing away," Roller said of traveling for the playoffs.
In other matches, Gulf's Victor Cao defeated Mitchell's Hoang Nguyen 7-5, 6-2 in No. 2 singles, and Pasco's James Drewes and Alex Mitchell just got by Sunlake's Aaron Aucoin and Brandon Jungbauer 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in No. 2 doubles.