August 16, 2019 – At 4pm in the afternoon, you would not believe the Raleigh Pro League Playoffs would take place outdoors at Seven Oaks Swim & Racquet Club. Torrential rains poured down on North Raleigh, flooding streets and rendering tennis courts unplayable. But a decision to move the tennis action from Seven Oaks clay courts to their hard courts and a great effort by their staff to dry the courts allowed another Friday night of the best tennis around to proceed.
With the top four teams competing to advance to the Championship match, Raleigh tennis fans were treated to an evening of spectacular tennis. #1 seed Team RDUTennis and #3 seed Team Wake Orthopaedics played their best tennis to win their semifinal matches and advance to face each other next week for the Championship.
Team RDUTennis jumped out to a lead by taking the Women’s court as Tessie Choo and Macy Fisher defeated Team Mosquito’s Fiona Degnan and Mia Bobrowski 6-4 6-1. The lead increased to 2-0 as Team RDU’s Cris James and Phillip Faulkner won 6-4 6-3 over Brian Smith and David Marquina on the Men’s 2 court. The team win was secured for Team RDUTennis as Jon Stokke and Kyle Spencer teamed up to defeat Team Mosquito’s Paul-Henri Arrigoni and Michael Ogden 6-1 and 6-4 at Men’s 1. All attention turned to the Mixed court in a rematch of Team RDU’s Joanna Nalborska and Brian Rosenthal and Team Mosquito’s Meghan Coomes and Sean Ferreira. The teams split sets and went into a 3rd set tiebreak just like the first time they played earlier this year. Nalborska/Rosenthal battled it out to take the tiebreak 11-9 and complete the sweep for Team RDUTennis. This marks the 3rd time Team RDUTennis has swept all 4 courts this season proving that when they have their top line-up available, they are tough to beat.
In the other semifinal match, Team Wake Ortho got on the board first when Caylan Ashworth and Chase Helpingstine won the Mixed doubles court over Home Team Greer’s Sandhya Nagaraj and Carlos Garcia 6-0 6-3. Next, Wake Ortho jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Kris McGrath and Liz Perkins won in a 3rd set tiebreak over HTG’s Nina Day and Heather Waters 3-6 7-6 10-6 on the Women’s court. Home Team Greer scored a team point as Paul Goode and Ramsey Smith battled back to win the Men’s 1 court 5-7 6-4 10-8 over Team Wake Ortho’s Ben Wagland and Lilo Pelegrino in what was arguably the best match of the night. So it all came down to the Men’s 2 court where Team Wake Ortho’s Glen Kitner and Justin Roberson split sets with HTG’s Dan McCain and Max Desmars and went into a 3rd set tiebreak. Kitner/Roberson jumped out to a 5-0 lead and looked ready to cruise to the victory, but McCain/Desmars fought back and pushed the tiebreak to 8-all. Kitner/Roberson took the next two point to win the court and seal the team win to send Team Wake Orthopaedics to the Championship match next week.
Hats off to Team Mosquito Authority and Home Team Greer who both had seasons to be very proud of. Local tennis fans were fortunate to watch the great tennis from both of these teams. We look forward to seeing these players back on the courts next year.