CLOVER — It’s not unusual to see Phil Wingard’s Clover High School boys’ tennis team making a splash in the early stages of the season.
Such was the case last weekend, as the Blue Eagles finished as back-draw champions in the Florence Invitational Tennis Tournament.
The Blue Eagles fell to Bluffton 4-2 in a competitive first-round match at the 16-team Florence-based tournament.
Playing No. 1 singles, Clover’s Andres Leon defeated Bluffton’s Aaron Newland, 8-5. In No. 2 singles, Bluffton’s Richard Snyder bested Justin White, 8-3, while Davis Rosenblum of Bluffton defeated Patrick Smith 8-5 in No. 3 singles.
The No. 4 singles match went to Bluffton’s Matthew Burnstein 8-5 against Rob Long, with No. 5 Morgan Philuxene surviving against Clover’s Garrett Smith in a grueling 8-6 showdown.
Clover’s No. 2 doubles team of Sean Elder and Holden McGill prevailed in an 8-7 nail-biter against Sean Greiner and Dakota Story.
The Blue Eagles raised the intensity level in back-draw competition, beginning with a 4-2 win against Wilson.
The scoring summary:
• No. 1 singles, Wilson’s Ryan Sogle def. Clover’s Andres Leon, 8-3; No. 2, Clover’s Justin White def. Wilson’s Hnanel Choski, 8-1; No. 3, Zuchery Zhao (Wilson) def. Patrick Smith (Clover), 8-1; No. 4, Rob Long (CL) def. Jarrett Russell (W), 8-3; No. 5, Garrett Smith (CL) def. Davis Ivey (W), 8-0; No. 2 doubles, Sean Elder, Holden McGill (CL), def. Williams Scott, Ben Lui (W) 8-0.
The Blue Eagles defeated Nation Ford 5-1:
• Scores: No. 1 singles, Justin White (CL) def. Jonathan Habbick (NF), 8-1; No. 2, Patrick Smith (CL) def. Raj Dwivedi (NF), 8-7; No. 3, Rob Long (CL) def. Alex Jacob (NF), 8-5; No. 4, Garrett Smith (CL) def. Banks Reigel (NF), 8-5; No. 5, Cameron Scobie (CL) def. Davis Plasko (NF), 8-5; No. 2 doubles, Jon Kesey, Alex Smith (NF) def. Sean Elder, Holden McGill (CL), 8-6.
Clover survived against Charlotte Latin, 4-3:
• Scores: No. 1, Justin White (CL) over John Robinson ((Ch L), 7-5, 4-6, 10-8; No. 2, Patrick Smith ( CL) over John Gass (Ch L), 3-6, 6-1, 10-5; No. 3, Rob Long (CL) over Chip Griffin (Ch L), 6-4, 6-2; No. 4, Davis Collins Ch L) over Garrett Smith (Cl), 3-6. 6-4, 10-6; No. 5, Bryan Reilly (Ch L) over Cameron Scobie, (CL), 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; No. 2 doubles, Nick Bolger, Bo Bernhardt (Ch L) over Sean Elder, Holden McGill (CL), 6-2, 6-4.
No. 1 doubles for the match: White and P. Smith (CL) defeated Robinson and Gass (NF), 8-6.
The Clover boys’ tennis team will host Forestview at 5 p.m. Thursday at the CHS courts.