For the first time in at least two decades, a Halifax County High School boys tennis team has a shot at a state title berth as a team.
The Comets will have that opportunity on Wednesday when they host Brooke Point High School in a Region 5D Tournament semi-final match at Halifax County High School. Start time is set for 2 p.m.
If the Comets win Wednesday's region semi-final match they will earn a state tournament berth and will host the Region 5D championship match on Friday.
In one of the biggest wins for the Halifax County High School boys tennis program in many years, the Comets edged Patrick Henry High School of Roanoke 5-3 Tuesday afternoon at Halifax County High School in a Region 5D Tournament quarterfinal match.
"As long as I have been here at Halifax County High School,this is our biggest win," said Comets head coach David Riddle whose team improved its record to 18-0 with the victory.
"I have been here for 19 years now, and we had never beaten Patrick Henry-Roanoke until today. We had two firsts today, we beat Patrick Henry-Roanoke and we were able to qualify for the region semi-finals.
"We've had a lot of (region) quarterfinals matches," Riddle continued.
"We had a close one last year in a loss to Harrisonburg High School.To come back and win 5-3 in the region quarterfinals is huge. It speaks volumes for the work these guys have put in all year."
Tuesday's match against Patrick Henry High School-Roanoke was close throughout, with the Comets' number two doubles team of Drew Salley and Luke Redd winning their match 5-3 to give Halifax County High School the win.
The Comets' number one doubles team of Ben Irby and Owen McAbee lost their match 10-4, and the number three doubles contest with Minjune Kim and Trevor Riddle on the court for the Comets, was still in progress when Salley and Redd closed out their win to give the Comets the overall match win.
Halifax County High School led Patrick Henry High School-Roanoke 4-2 after the six singles matches. The Comets got wins from Salley in the number two singles match, Redd in the number four singles match, McAbee in the number five singles match and Grayson Ballance in the number six singles contest.
That left the Comets needing to win one of the three doubles matches in order to take the overall match win. Patrick Henry High School-Roanoke won the first doubles match to make the overall match score 4-3 before Salley and Redd won their match to give the Comets the victory.
Riddle said he saw no signs of pressure from among his players during Tuesday afternoon's contest.
"I have seen it in years past," Riddle pointed out, "seen guys when they get in this situation look nervous and don't really look focused. I didn't see that today. We had some situations where we fell behind in quite a few matches, but when we fell behind we got right back up."
Riddle said his team will be ready for Wednesday afternoon's match against Brooke Point High School.
"We're ready for tomorrow," Riddle remarked.
"We're going to go back to the drawing board, focus and come out and take care of this thing, try to get this win."
HALIFAX COUNTY 5 PATRICK HENRY-ROANOKE 3
1. D. Hudson (PH) def. Ben Irby (HC) 6-2
2. Drew Salley (HC) def. Anthony Laconte (PH) 10-3
3. Henry Holbrook (PH) def. Minjune Kim (HC) 10-5
4. Luke Redd (HC) def. James Duckwall (PH) 10-6
5. Owen McAbee (HC) def. Ryan Straub (PH) 10-3
6. Grayson Ballance (HC) def. Thomas Fitchett (PH) 11-9
1. Hudson/Holbrook (PH) def. Irby/McAbee (HC) 10-4
2. Salley/Redd (HC) def. Laconte/Straub (PH) 5-3
3.Kim/Trevor Riddle (HC) vs. Duckwall/Fitchett (PH) - Did Not Finish