Doubles team wins conference tennis title

Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

In one of the most stirring Central Piedmont Conference championship matches Davie boys tennis has ever known, seniors Bryce Bailey and Burke Rosenbaum enjoyed the greatest ending imaginable to their CPC careers.

In the doubles final in the CPC Tournament at Hanes Park in Winston-Salem on April 25, Davie’s duo faced Mt. Tabor’s Adam Cartwright and Landon Wyshner. Rosenbaum/Bailey were 17-2. Cartwright/Wyshner were undefeated, having dealt the only two losses to the Davie pair. Those doubles teams collided March 8, when Tabor prevailed 8-5. The teams locked up April 11, when Tabor survived 8-6 in a two-hour battle. Cartwright is the CPC Player of the Year, and he’s responsible for two of Rosenbaum’s three singles losses in his CPC career. Wyshner is the son of the Wake Forest women’s tennis coach.

It was greatness against greatness in the final, and what’s better than that?

When the two-and-a-half-hour slugfest was finally in the books, Bailey and Rosenbaum had one heck of a story to tell 20 years from now – about a perfect day when they made amends and beat the mighty pair from Tabor. And they did it by the hair on their chinny chin chin: 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4).

“To know these two have had your number and still come out and play with the confidence and swag that my guys did? Amazing,” coach Shane Nixon said.

“After losing to them twice, it feels great,” Bailey said. “I’m always going to remember being a conference champion.”

As expected, Rosenbaum/Bailey overwhelmed their first three obstacles. They won 10-0 over East Forsyth in the first round, 10-0 over Reynolds in the quarterfinals and 10-2 over Reagan in the semifinals.

That set up the tournament’s main event. Electricity was in the air when warmups for the doubles title match began.

“For two weeks we’d been practicing and preparing for this match,” Nixon said. “We talked about the mental parts.”

“Me and Bryce went and played in a couple of USTA tournaments to get ready for it,” Rosenbaum said. “We really wanted to win it bad. It’s fun playing them. I think they’re one of the best doubles teams in the state.”

“We’ve been talking about the conference tournament the whole season,” Bailey said. “We were going to give it everything we had to be conference champions.”

It was an incredible struggle that ended in breathless victory for the War Eagles.

Nixon said: “(Wyshner) has got a serve that is just impossible to deal with. (Tabor’s pair is) a phenomenal doubles team. There is literally five points difference in those two tiebreakers combined. The tension was real, the emotions raw. There were at least two games in the second set where there were more than six deuces, and we won both.”

Rosenbaum: “It was as close as it could get in those two sets. I was exhausted. I just hugged Bryce for like three minutes after we won. I just laid on his shoulder. I was so happy we did it.”

Rosenbaum said Bailey made unreal plays.

“Bryce served really good, especially in the final,” he said. “We held his serve a lot, he hit great returns and he hit big shots in both tiebreakers that won us the set. I would say his serve is what helps us the most because he can hit his first serve really hard. When he makes his first serve, we usually win the point. His net game is pretty good, too. And his returns were on fire (in the final).”

There is nothing to be said about Rosenbaum that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. His stature in Davie tennis lore only grew as he became a three-time CPC champion. His freshman season was ruined by the pandemic. As a sophomore, he captured the singles title. As a junior, he teamed up with cousin C Crenshaw to take the doubles crown by a combined score of 44-4.

“His tennis IQ is insane,” Bailey said of his running mate. “He knows where to put the ball. Also, he gets to everything.”

Notes: The top five finishers advanced to the Midwest Regional. Rosenbaum/Bailey will carry an 18-2 record to the Friday/Saturday regional at Cox Mill. … Crenshaw showed up at Hanes Park to support his former teammates. “C was getting me and Bryce fired up,” Rosenbaum said. “We needed that support. I felt like he was on the court with me again.” … You can’t say enough about Bailey’s improvement over four years. As a freshman, he didn’t know if he’d ever crack the top six. Now he’s headed to Belmont Abbey to play tennis. “I really did not think I was going to be this good,” he said. “That sounds cocky, but I definitely didn’t think I’d go to college for tennis. I was just playing because I was decent at it.” … Sophomore Hayden Key lost 10-5 to East Forsyth, sophomore Zach Hill lost 10-0 to Reynolds and senior Jack Williams/sophomore Sean Lane lost 10-1 to West Forsyth in doubles. “What a great kid,” Nixon said of Williams. “I am very proud of his manager-to-team-captain movement in four years. Sean is a great kid and I look forward to him being a part of what we are doing going forward. Zach, there is no shame in losing (to Reynolds’ No. 1 player). Hayden showed why I am looking forward to the rest of his career. He drew the No. 1 seed from East Forsyth and made a fight out of it. The final score will not show how close it was. There could be great things in store from him in a Davie uniform.”