Western Albemarle boys tennis’ Simon Rader has been at this for a long time so it’s appropriate that the Warriors’ No. 5 clinched Western’s third-straight trip to the state final four Saturday against Abingdon.
The senior has started since he was a freshman and while the players around him have changed, Rader has been a fixture.
“The chemistry has really stayed consistent, every year has been a lot of fun,” Rader said.
The Warriors swept Abingdon 5-0 as the defending state champions locked up another state final four berth. Western will host the Hidden Valley/Waynesboro winner in the state semifinals next week.
Rader won 6-1, 6-1 in his match at No. 5 top complete the sweep, hitting a pair of nice lobs that found their way inside the baseline in the last two games to get the job done.
“The guy I was playing (Trent Cox) hit some awesome lobs credit to him but I’m pretty happy with the way I played,” Rader said. “I think I served really well.”
Western No. 1 Gavin Segraves was the first player off the court with a 6-0, 6-0 victory followed by Alex Ix winning 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. Tobin Yates, who was subbed in at No. 3 for Jack Tribble, rolled 6-0, 6-0 to make it 3-0 and then Jake Selverstone made it 4-0 with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles. That set the stage for Rader to clinch the match.
Tommy Smith was up a set at No. 6 singles when his match was called since Western had clinched.
Now the Warriors will put their unbeaten record to the test in the state final four, looking to earn a shot at a third-straight state title.
“We’ve had a good year, undefeated in match play and we’ve come together as a team,” Rader said. “We have more guys playing and a lot of freshmen playing really well which is great to see at the end of the year.”
Western 5, Abingdon 0
- Gavin Segraves (WA) def. Dillon McReynolds 6-0, 6-0
- Alex Ix (WA) def. Carter Hylton 6-1, 6-0
- Tobin Yates (WA) def. Nathan Lacombe 6-0, 6-0
- Jake Selverstone (WA) def. Tristan Hicks 6-0, 6-2
- Simon Rader (WA) def. Trent Cox 6-1, 6-1
- Tommy Smith (WA) versus Shay Sullivan DNF