First Time for Everything: Western boys tennis doubles duo wins state title

There’s a symbiosis at work for Western Albemarle’s Daniel Thomas and Alex Ix when they’re playing doubles together. As good as they are on their own, they’re a little better together and the state’s tennis community learned that Friday.


“Our games work well together, he’s more of a hard hitter, aggressive and I’m more defensive,” Ix said. “We’re really good friends off the court and I think that helps.”


Ix and Thomas swept Hidden Valley 6-4, 6-2 Friday to win the Group 3A boys doubles state championship. They’re the first tandem in Western Albemarle history to win the doubles state championship.


“It felt really good, Daniel and I were pretty excited, we’ve been waiting all year for this,” Ix said.


To advance to the final Friday afternoon, Ix and Thomas had to beat York in the state semifinals in the morning, winning 6-4, 6-1.


Thomas, a junior, has missed out on state titles the last two years and bounced back from a loss in Thursday’s state singles semifinals. Thomas was locked in and focused on getting the job done.


“I know he really wanted this one, maybe more than I did,” Ix said.


For Ix, this is just the beginning for the freshman and it starts in pretty dramatic fashion with a team state title still a possibility Saturday morning when the Warriors face Blacksburg in Salem at 10 a.m..


“I’m hoping I’ll be able to win a few more,” Ix said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to keep the wins rolling.”