Defending champion Spartanburg Day ended Palmetto Christian Academy's hopes of returning to the pinnacle of SCISA Class A-AA boys tennis Monday evening at the Cayce Tennis Center by scoring a 6-2 win over the Eagles in the state championship match.
Senior Austin Heinz and sixth-grader Luke Prendergast were the only victors for the Eagles from Mount Pleasant as they took the top two singles positions to send PCA into doubles down 4-2, but still with a chance to win a sixth state title in seven years.
Heinz, a two-time All-Lowcountry selection before missing last season while training at Nick Bollettieri's Academy in Florida, rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Anders Ike at No. 1 singles, while Prendergast edged Matthew Poliokoff, 7-5, 6-4, at No. 2.
Spartanburg Day claimed the other four singles in straight sets.
Palmetto Christian coach Dewey Caulder split his top two guns (Heinz and Prendergast) for doubles, but the strategy couldn't save the Eagles (6-6) from a second straight state final loss to Spartanburg Day.
"I could not have asked for a better effort from our team," Caulder said. "Austin and Luke gave us a chance going into the doubles. We tried to pair up in a way that we could sweep but fell short.
"Some of our guys played before more people than they ever have. It was a great experience and should benefit us in the future. I could not be more proud of our kids."
SPARTANBURG DAY, 6, PALMETTO CHRISTIAN 2
SINGLES: Austin Heinz (PCA) def. Anders Ike, 6-0, 6-0; Luke Prendergast (PCA) def. Matthew Poliokoff, 7-5, 6-4;
Connor Smith (SD) def. Trey Goolsby, 6-2, 6-0; Bryson Nagor (SD) def. Brandon Kassouf, 6-4, 6-0; Rollins Turner (SD) def. Michael Pernell, 6-0, 6-2; Rhett Foust (SD) def. P.J. Noce, 6-2, 7-5.
DOUBLES: Ike/Poliokoff (SD) def. Heinz/Noce, 6-4, 6-3; Turner/Smith (SD) def. Prendergast/Pernell, 6-3, 6-3; Nagor/Foust (SD) lead Goolsby/Kassouf, 7-6, 0-1.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.