Eastside cruises to 2nd straight trip to state

Eastside's Hyunsoo Joo returns a shot during the Class 2A, Region 3 boys tennis final against Dade City Pasco on Thursday at Jonesville Tennis Center.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.

The Eastside High School boys tennis team started Thursday afternoon as ground crew members at Jonesville Tennis Center.

Come evening time they were once again state finalists and part of area prep history — one of four Gainesville tennis teams to advance to the state finals.

Afternoon showers delayed Eastside's regional finals matchup against Dade City Pasco nearly three hours. If the matches were going to get in, coach Dave Porter and his Rams would have to make the green clay playable. That meant drying the courts with towels before a single ball could be served.

“We were all a little tired from all the work we did for about an hour,” Porter said. “Despite that we were very well balanced tonight. Everyone was consistent and fought hard.”

Eastside's No. 1, Hyunsoo Joo, had to work the hardest. Joo went three sets against Pasco's No.1 Austin Riddaugh. After taking the first set 6-2, Joo lost the second 4-6. In the pivotal third set, the Rams' top player won 6-4.

In the battle of No. 2s — EHS' Samuel Cockey and Josh Mooris — Cockey won 6-1, 6-3.

Camille Kima, the Rams No. 3, won his match 6-2, 6-0 against Alex Mitchell. Maxwell Curtis, Tabong Kima and Evan Robins were also winners for Eastside, which won the match 6-1.

“It feels great,” said Robins, the senior captain who won his match 6-4, 7-5. “It shows how hard we worked. We didn't want to just get to states, we want to do well at states.”

The Class 2A state finals begin Wednesday. The team competition takes place at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

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