July 12, 2019 – North Hills Club definitely knows how to host a Raleigh Pro League match and over 300 enthusiastic fans and spectators came out to watch as Team Wake Orthopaedics and Home Team Greer took victories in the first double-header of the season.
In the feature match of the evening, North Hill’s home team Wake Orthopaedics played strong on all courts to defeat Team Brier Creek Orthodontics 3-1. The Men’s #1 court finished first as Team Wake Ortho’s Sam Williams and Justin Roberson took the win over BCO’s Tom Eklund and Quentin Guichard 6-3 6-1. Next off the courts was the Mixed where Team Wake Ortho’s Caylan Ashworth and Chase Helpingstine bested Team BCO’s Erin Piechocinski and Jose Velazquez 6-3 6-4 giving Wake Ortho a 2-0 court lead. Wake Ortho’s Women’s team of Kris McGrath and Liz Perkins sealed the team win by taking their court 6-3 6-1 over BCO’s Jenny Green and Ginny Brodd. Men’s #2 was played on the feature court of the evening featuring two North Hill’s Club teaching pro’s, Lilo Pelegrino and Patrick Longest, playing opposite each other and NHC member Cameron Rosenow. Pelegrino/Rosenow took the first set 6-4 but Team BCO’s Longest and Doug Ormsby won the second 6-4 to force a third set tiebreak. The teams traded points in the tiebreak as the very enthusiastic North Hills crowd cheered every point. Longest/Ormsby made a late surge to take the tiebreak 10-8 and give Team BCO a team point for the match. With the 3-1 victory and additional team point, Wake Ortho moved into third place in the league and in good shape as we reached the mid-point of the season.
The other match of the evening between league leaders Team RDUTennis and Home Team Greer would prove to be a barn burner. Home Team Greer took the first team point as Heather Waters and Nena Day were pushed into a third set tiebreak to win the Women’s court over Team RDU’s Macy Fisher and Jessica Miller 4-6 6-2 10-4. Team RDU’s Joanna Nalborska and Brian Rosenthal evened up the team score at one court each by winning the Mixed court 7-6 6-1 over Home Team Greer’s Kathleen Henry and Marko Zivkovic. On the Men’s #2 court, Team Greer’s Max Desmars and Daniel McCain had taken the first set 7-6, but Team RDU’s Phillip Faulkner and Josh Franceschina came back to win the second 7-6 and force the third set tiebreak. Home Team Greer jumped out to a quick lead in the tiebreak and was able to ride that lead to the victory 10-6. With a two court to one lead, all attention turned to the Men’s #1 court where Team RDU’s Cris James and Jon Davis were locked in a battle with Home Team Greer’s Paul Goode and Ramsey Smith. Goode/Smith had taken the first set 6-4 featuring many long deuce-ad games. In the second set, it was obvious Smith had suffered a calf injury affecting his movement, but he and Goode continued to fight for every point. It’s now past 10 o’clock in the evening and suddenly the lights turn off at their programmed time. They were quickly restored and James/Davis continued their strong play as the set went into a tiebreak. Both teams fought hard in the tiebreak and James/Davis took it 7-5 to force a third set breaker. Again, the teams fought hard with excellent cross court rally’s and amazing angled volley’s. James/Davis pulled out the win 10-7 to give Team RDU the team point and force a 2-2 tie. Team RDU’s Captain Rosenthal chose Joanna Nalborska and Cris James as their players for the Captain’s Choice Super-Tiebreak and Captain Goode chose league newcomer Kathleen Henry and himself to represent Home Team Greer. The crowd watched the players warm up as the court sprinkler systems started watering the surrounding banks leaving everyone to wonder if the Captain’s Choice would be stopped by watering. The tiebreak started with excellent play by both teams. Team RDU’s Nalborska/James battled to take the lead and extend it to 8-5. Henry/Goode did not give up and played tough to shift the momentum, win the next 5 points and take the tiebreak to give Home Team Greer the match.
The Home Team Greer – Team RDUTennis match showed why these teams were leading the league and could be a preview of the Championship match this year. With the win, Home Team Greer and Team RDUTennis are tied at 7 team points each with the head-to-head advantage going to Team Greer.
North Hills Club did a wonderful job hosting the match and the crowd was super enthusiastic to the end. For the record, it was the largest crowd to ever attend a Raleigh Pro League match and all the players showed the fans why its the best Friday night ticket in the area.