Eastside boys tennis team aims for Class 2A title

Eastside's Maxwell Curtis (No. 3 singles) will face Gulliver Prep's Andre Libnic Tuesday in the Class 2A state finals.

Matt Stamey/Staff Photographer/File
Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 9:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 9:46 p.m.

Eastside's boys tennis team have set themselves up for a possible state title in boys tennis on Tuesday as four of its five singles players reached the finals and both doubles teams advanced to the semifinals at the Class 2A state tournament at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

The last time and only time the Rams won a state title in boys tennis was in 2000.

Benjamin Brandt (No. 2), Maxwell Curtis (No. 3), Hyunsoo Joo (No. 4) and Samuel Cockey (No. 5) all won straight set victories and all will face opponents from defending state champion Gulliver Prep. The Raiders, state champions eight times over the last 11 years, advanced all five to the singles finals. They also advanced both doubles teams to Tuesday's semifinals.

“Everyone gave it their all and fought to the very end,” said Eastside coach Dave Porter. “I truly believe our fitness and match play early in the season not only helped us bond as a team but also improved our toughness.

“I'm super proud of how we performed as a team, not only the results but the support everyone had for each other.”

The Rams' lone setback was at No. 1 where Camille Kima fell to Gulliver's Chase Perez-Blanco, the classification's top seed and future Gator, in the semifinals. Brandt upset second-seeded Parker Lepore of Jacksonville Stanton College Prep, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2.

Curtis, the second seed at No. 3, will face Gulliver's Andre Libnic, the top seed while Joo, the second seed at No. 4, will face Gulliver's Laurentiu Schinteie, who upset the top seed. Cockey is the top seed at No. 5.

Finals begin Tuesday at 8 a.m., followed by the semifinals and finals in doubles. Porter figures for Eastside to win state, the Rams will need to win at least three of the four singles finals and one of the doubles.

“This has been a great team throughout the year, and we have continued to improve as well,” said Curtis, the team's captain. “I couldn't be more proud of my teammates for all of the time and effort they've put in to make the run to states and to make this an amazing senior season.”

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