August 24, 2018 – Congratulations to Team Wake Orthopaedics on winning the 2018 Raleigh Pro League Championship! Having posted the best regular season record in 2016 and 2017, only to lose in the Playoffs and Championship, this year’s Wake Orthopaedics team won the critical courts and matches to ensure they would not be denied again. Playing on neutral courts at the Raleigh Racquet Club in front of a huge crowd, both Team White Dahlia and Team Wake Ortho showed why they made it to the Championship match with great tennis and determination. Its only fitting that it took a Captain’s Choice Super-Tiebreak to determine the Champion.
Team Wake Ortho got on the board first as Glen Kitner and Justin Roberson won the Men’s 2 court over White Dahlia’s Jason Abhau and Robert Lightbourn 6-1 7-6. Wake Ortho’s lead increased to 2-0 as Caylan Ashworth and Cameron Rosenow came back after dropping the first set to win over Kelly Riely and Doug Ormsby 4-6 7-6 10-7 on the Mixed court. White Dahlia scored to make it 2-1 as Jas Schmitt and Paul-Henri Arrigoni outlasted Wake Ortho’s Ben Wagland and Chase Helpingstine 6-4 7-6 in a crowd pleasing match on the Men’s 1 court. All eyes turn to the Women’s court where White Dahlia’s Sandhya Nagaraj and Kim Ezzo had won the first set 7-6. Locked in a tough battle, Team Wake Ortho’s Kris McGrath and Liz Perkins took the second set 7-6 to force a third set tiebreak. The fans really enjoyed watching these ladies play it out with long rallies, great recoveries, and excellent tennis on every point. They battled back and forth and Nagaraj/Ezzo pulled it out 10-7 to take the team score to 2-2 and force a Captain’s Choice Super-Tiebreak to decide the Season Champion.
Team White Dahlia put Nagaraj and Schmitt on the court and Team Wake Ortho put McGrath and Helpingstine on to play for all the marbles. Both teams made excellent shots winning critical points playing to 5-5 in the breaker. At this point, McGrath/Helpingstine kicked into the “Not-To-Be-Denied” mode and pulled away to win 10-6 and secure the Championship for Team Wake Orthopaedics.
What a fitting end to a spectacular season for the Raleigh Pro League. The two best teams played the best match of the season and it took a tiebreak to determine the difference between them. There were no losers tonight. Congratulations to Team White Dahlia on a great season and, of course, congratulations to our 2018 Champions Team Wake Orthopaedics.