Myers Park Tennis Team: The Myers Park tennis team has been near perfect this season, going 16-0, while winning 135 of the 140 matches played in that run.
Mustang tennis coach, Ed Flynn and company finished off the regular season with another Southwestern 4A conference title last week, going 10-0 in league play without dropping a match.
Myers Park sophomore Mark Dillon Jr. won the SW4A conference singles’ championship, while Mustangs seniors Flynn Stover and Chris Williams claimed the league’s double title for the second straight season on April 28.
But while the Myers Park tennis team has accomplished a lot already, they know what really matters is what happens in the postseason. The Mustangs hope to put an exclamation point on their season over the next three weeks.
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“It’s definitely a congratulations for all you accomplished this regular season, but now we are in a new season, the postseason, which is what really matters,” said Flynn, whose team will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs as long as they keep winning. “Now, we want to validate everything we’ve done this season. …
“We want to show what Myers Park tennis is all about now.”
Flynn led his Myers Park girls’ tennis team to the 4A state championship this past fall with a perfect 21-0 record. The Myers Park girls had gone 16-0 in both the 2014 and 2015 campaigns only to lose in the state championship match each time.
The Myers Park boys’ tennis team was 14-0 last year, before their season came to an abrupt halt in 5-1 loss to Greensboro Page High in the state quarterfinals.
The Page loss on May 16 a year ago is the last time the Mustangs lost a match, and has served as motivation going forward.
Myers Park, the No. 1 seed in the 4A West bracket, opens with Mount Tabor on May 2, and will likely host Page in the second round on May 9, if both teams hold serve in the first round.
“We’ve lost to Page the last two years in the playoffs and that has really motivated this team, especially last year because Page was the 4A state champion and you look at them and say ‘That’s the team that won the state title and that where we want to be.’ So, it’s a great measuring stick,” Flynn said.
Myers Park returned all but one starter from last year, and boasts a talented lineup from top to bottom, starting with Dillon at No. 1, Stover at No. 2, Williams at No. 3, sophomore, Sam Dean at No. 4, sophomore, Charlie Reiney at No. 5 and junior, Charlie Fox at No. 6.
While the Mustangs have only lost five times in singles’ play, their doubles’ play has been the key as they haven’t lost a match all season.
“We really focus on our doubles’ play in practice, and it shows because we haven’t lost a (doubles) match all season,” Stover said. “We feel like if we can get a team to doubles’ play then we have a great chance to win any match. We know that is going to be even more important in the playoffs.”
The Myers Park players also hope to earn individual honors at both the regional and state (individual championships) as Dillon and Dean compete in singles’ play, while the combination of Stover/Williams and Reiney/Fox compete in doubles.
But, the main focus is on the team’s success and they hope to finish this season in championship fashion.
“For us, it’s all about stay focused on the next match and it’s great to able to play at home if we keep winning,” Williams said. “We know that it’s win or go home in every match now. But, we feel like we have a lot to prove. We don’t want this season to end with a loss. There’s only one way to accomplish that goal (with a state championship).”
Mary Elliott McCabe, Charlotte Latin Girls’ Soccer: The Charlotte Latin junior forward tied a school-record with all five goals in the Hawks’ 5-1 win over Covenant Day on April 25.
McCabe, a University of North Carolina commit, also had a goal in Charlotte Latin’s (15-1-1, 8-1) victories at Charlotte Country Day (3-0) on April 27 and at home against Weddington (3-2) on April 28.
McCabe has 25 goals this season, including six games with two or more scores.
Elisabeth Iler, South Iredell Girls’ Soccer: The South Iredell sophomore forward had four goals and two assists in two wins to help the Vikings stay a perfect 16-0 (12-0 in the North Piedmont conference) this season.
Iler had her first hat trick of her South Iredell soccer career in a 9-0 win over Statesville on April 27. She also had one assist in the same game.
Iler has 11 goals and five assists this season.
South Iredell looks to finish the regular season undefeated as they host Alexander Central and West Iredell this week.
Lex Voelker, Ardrey Kell Lacrosse: The Ardrey Kell senior had another big week for the Knights, while also earning Conference 12 offensive player of the year honors on April 28.
Voelker, a University of Mount Olive signee, had four goals and 10 assists in two games as the Knights beat Independence, before losing to Myers Park in the Conference 12 semifinals on April 26.
Voelker leads the nation with 85 assists this season, and is No. 7 in the nation with 111 points overall (also 26 goals), according to Ardrey Kell coach Tim Price.
Voelker has already set the school record for assists and points in a season, and had a school-record 10 assists in a win over Ronald Reagan in the season-opener on Feb. 28.
Ardrey Kell, who is a program-best 15-4 this season, hosts Grimsley High in a second round playoff game on May 5.
A.J. McMahon, Christ the King Lacrosse: The Christ the King freshman had a historic game, leading the Crusaders to their first win in program history with five goals in a 16-1 victory over Queens Grant on April 28.
McMahon also won 18 of 19 faceoffs in the game, with his only loss on an illegal procedure by a teammate.
Jack Fletcher, Providence Day Lacrosse: The Providence Day senior attacker helped his Charger team (15-4) to a perfect 3-0 record last week, scoring six goals, while dishing out seven assists.
Fletcher had four goals and three assists to start the week in a 19-11 win over Charlotte Christian.
Fletcher now has 130 career goals and 104 career assists, which is just one assist shy of the school record.
Fletcher could break the school when the Chargers host Charlotte Latin on May 2.
Tim Townsend, Providence Baseball: The Providence senior helped the Panthers clinched their third straight, SoMeck8 conference title, as he had 15 strikeouts in the 11-2 win on April 26.
Townsend was a preseason All-American pick by Collegiate Baseball.
Providence hosts the SoMeck8 baseball tournament this week.
Butler Baseball Team: The Butler baseball team (13-10, 11-1) clinched the Southwestern 4A conference regular season title with a 7-2 victory over archrival Independence on April 27.
Three Bulldog seniors led the way with T.J. McEvilly tossing a complete-game with 10 strikeouts on the mound, while classmates Tate Pennington went 2-for-4 with a RBI and Brent Moody went 1-for-3 with a double and a RBI at the plate.
Butler hosts the Southwestern 4A baseball conference tournament, where they open with the winner of Porter Ridge and Independence on May 3.
Paige Jacky, Butler Softball: Senior captain Paige Jacky led Butler to their first Southwestern 4A softball title since 2010.
In only her second pitching appearance of the season, Jacky tossed a complete-game, one hitter with seven strikeouts in the 17-2 regular season finale win over Berry. She had went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and two runs scored in the same game.
Butler hosts the SW4A conference softball tournament, where they open with the winner of Myers Park and Rocky River on May 3.
Sydney Backstrom, Hopewell Softball: The Hopewell senior had another big week at the plate and on the mound as the Titans closed their regular season winning six of their last seven games to finish second in the MECKA 4A conference.
Backstrom, a Longwood University signee, went 8-for-9 at the plate with two home runs, six RBI and seven runs scored. She hit a home run in both wins Vance on April 26 and Cuthbertson on April 27.
Backstrom also went 2-1 on the mound for the Titans (11-6) with 29 strikeouts in three games.
Rebecca Oliver, Charlotte Country Day Softball: The Charlotte Country Day softball team came into last week with only one win this season.
But, Bucs’ junior centerfielder helped her team to two wins last week, beating rival, Charlotte Latin and Cary Academy.
Oliver went 2-for-4 with two RBI, two runs and two stolen bases in the 11-4 victory over Charlotte Latin on April 27.
Two days later, Oliver went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI and three runs scored in a dramatic, 20-19 win over Cary Academy.
Sarah Billiard, Covenant Day Track: The Covenant Day senior cleared 5-6 to win the high jump in only her fourth track meet ever at Charlotte Country Day on April 26.
Billiard’s jump was No. 1 in the NCISAA and tied for the No. 4 overall in the state this outdoor season, according to ncrunners.com.
Billiard is preparing for the two biggest meets of the season, first CISAA conference championships on May 12-13 at Charlotte Country Day, followed by the NCISAA 3A state outdoor championships on May 19-20 at Winthrop University.
Evan Harris, Lake Norman Track: The Lake Norman senior ran a personal-best 4:16.71 at the Bojangles’ Apex Relays on April 22, finishing fourth in the race.
Harris’ run was nearly five seconds better than his previous best.
Harris will run for the Charlotte 49ers beginning this summer.
Zane Sullivan, Ardrey Kell Golf: The Ardrey Kell sophomore shot a season-best (high school) 66 to win the SoMeck8 conference championships at Charlotte National on April 25.
Sullivan had four birdies and 14 pars in his round of four-under par.
Sullivan also led his Knights’ team to the SoMeck8 conference title with a 273 (team score), eight shots better than runner-up, Charlotte Catholic.
Ardrey Kell also got big performances from Mason Elmore, who shot 67 and Clark Kistler, who shot 68.
Sullivan leads the Knights with 35.67 scoring average (per nine holes) this season.
Lake Norman Girls’ Lacrosse Team: The Lake Norman girls’ lacrosse team finished off their fifth consecutive Conference 10 tournament in style with a 14-4 victory over rival, Hough in the championship game on April 28.
Wildcat junior, RosaLee Schiemer (five goals, one assist) and senior, Kieran Rinaldi (three goals, five assists) led the way in the conference championship game.
Lake Norman (15-2) also beat Lake Norman Charter, 22-1, on previous day in the semifinals, where nine Wildcat players scored goals.
Lake Norman is the No. 1 seed going into the NCHSAA playoffs, where they open with winner of Marvin Ridge-Northwest Guilford on May 5.
Megan Flesch, Charlotte Catholic Girls’ Lacrosse: The Charlotte Catholic junior led her team to a Conference 10 tournament title, scoring two goals while adding nine draw controls in the Cougars’ 13-6 win over Ardrey Kell in the finals on April 28.
Flesch, a University of Richmond commit, also had two goals and two assists in the conference semifinals win over Providence on April 26.
Flesch had 36 goals, 18 assists and 76 goals this season, going into the playoffs, where they open by hosting North Davidson on May 5.
Lauren Loveless, Lake Norman Charter Girls’ Lacrosse: The Knights’ senior scored eight goals, had four groundballs and three draw controls to lead Lake Norman Charter 23-5 win over St. Stephens on April 24 and a berth in the Conference 10 semifinals.
Loveless also her team lone goal in the Knights (7-8) semifinal loss to Lake Norman.
Loveless has 42 goals and 20 groundballs this season.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELP US FIND THE ATHLETES
This season’s finest highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. Information published today includes statistics through April 29. In most cases, the athletes featured will come from sports that don’t get a lot of recognition. However, the goal is to recognize excellence. If you want to suggest someone to be included in This Season’s Finest column, send email to Jay Edwards at email@example.com. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.
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