The Hopewell boys' tennis team came into the year with great expectations, led by five seniors among its top six players.
Meanwhile, the Hough tennis squad didn't know what to expect, as the Huskies competed in their first year without any seniors.
Both the Titans and Huskies made their mark on the I-Meck, with Hopewell winning its second straight conference title and Hough freshman Ryan Wydra taking the league singles title after establishing himself as the No. 1 player in the conference.
Hopewell also advanced to the 4A dual team state quarterfinals before losing to Ardrey Kell - the best team finish among local schools.
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Lake Norman High (13-4, 6-1) also had a solid season, finishing second in the I-Meck and going to the playoffs, where the Wildcats lost in the first round to Greensboro Page.
Lake Norman player of the year: Ryan Wydra, Hough
Wydra didn't have big expectations coming into his first year of high school on a first-year Hough team, but after an undefeated run through the I-Meck regular season and an I-Meck tournament singles title, Wydra will have great expectations for the rest of his career.
Wydra and the young Huskies team also played well, going 7-2 overall and 5-2 in conference play.
The only question facing Wydra and his teammates is: What will they do next?
Lake Norman coach of the year: Craig Smith, Hopewell
Smith knew his Hopewell team had the experience and talent to contend for an I-Meck title and beyond.
The Titans lived up to their billing, going undefeated in I-Meck play (18-4, 7-0) to win another conference title.
Smith, 78-29 in his six-year tenure at Hopewell, has led the Titans to three conference titles.
Hopewell also made its deepest playoff run in program history by reaching the 4A state quarterfinals.
"We didn't necessarily have any stars on this team," said Smith. "But the guys have bought into everything I've told them. They really worked together as a team, in what is usually a pretty individual sport."
All-Lake Norman News boys' tennis team
Ryan Wydra, Hough: I-Meck champion as a freshman will have high expectations for the future.
John David Curlis, Hopewell: Hopewell's No. 1 led Titans to back-to-back I-Meck titles.
Tyler Roberts, Hopewell: Versatile athlete was all-conference in football, soccer and tennis.
Jake Combs, Mooresville: Blue Devil junior was I-Meck tournament runner-up.
Shravan Rajan, Lake Norman: Wildcat sophomore was a regional qualifier.
Collin Black, Hough: Huskies' No. 2 is a big part of bright future for young team.
Garrett Mrzlak, North Meck: Standout Viking on a rebuilding team.
Tyler Roberts/John Armato, Hopewell: I-Meck champions upset teammates in I-Meck final.
Curlis/Brian Andersen, Hopewell: Seniors were No. 1 Titan doubles team.
Matt Crisp/Hammit Coody, Lake Norman: Wildcat duo made I-Meck semifinals.