Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Region tennis: East Lake boys head to state in Class 4A

EAST LAKE — In last week's district tournament, East Lake won both doubles matches in tiebreakers to eke out the championship against Land O'Lakes. In Thursday's Class 4A region final rematch, the Eagles didn't need to play doubles.

East Lake won four of five singles matches to defeat the Gators 4-1. The Eagles earned a berth in next week's Class 4A state final in Orlando.

Benny Glezer got things started for East Lake with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Land O'Lakes' Albert Xing at No. 1 singles. Ryan Grywczynski finished shortly afterward with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jeffrey Liu at No. 5 singles to put the Eagles up 2-0.

At No. 3 singles, Max Keenan pulled out a 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 tiebreaker win over Will Hasell to give the Gators what turned out to be their only point. The only two matches left were at Nos. 2 and 4 singles.

Brayton Vanhorenbeck fought back to defeat Land O'Lakes' Caelen Aarcola 7-6, 6-2 to put the Eagles within a point of clinching the regional.

"That's probably the best I've ever played," Vanhorenbeck said. "I fell behind 1-4 and it took a while to get going. But once I got going I started to play well."

That left only one match, No. 4 singles. With teammates cheering them on, East Lakes' Carter Reed and Land O'Lakes' Kenta Xu were forced into a tiebreaker third set. They traded points until it was 5-5. Then Reed rattled off three straight points and hung on to win the tiebreaker 10-7 and clinch the match.

"I didn't feel any pressure," Reed said. "I was just focused on the match and trying to return every shot. (Xu) is a good player. We went to a tiebreaker in the districts so I expected that again this time."

The Gators also lost to East Lake in last year's region final. Keenan, a senior who was on the team last year, said there is no shame in losing to East Lake.

"I love playing against those guys," Keenan said. "Great group of people. There is no team I'd rather lose to than them."

Region tennis: East Lake boys head to state in Class 4A 04/20/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.