• ‘Canes Get Set for Regional Tourney

    By Cliff Olsen


    Posted April 11th, 2011

    Gainesville High School boys tennis coach Paul Spradling has had the perfect vantage point for what could end up being a special season for his club.

    Zachary Goldberg

    The Hurricanes claimed their first district title since 2007 last week and they also have their eye on making their first FHSAA Class 3A state tournament appearance since that year as well.

    “That is a good thing about being the coach, I get to watch this,” said Spradling, who guided the ‘Canes to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the championship 1998. “Definitely the goal is to get to state. I’d love to win a state title, but if we could get in the top three at state, that would be a great accomplishment for these kids.

    “I am not looking ahead yet, I want to make sure we get Tuesday’s match out of the way.”

    GHS hosts St. Augustine in a Class 3A, Region 2 first-round match today at the Jonesville Tennis Center at 3 p.m.

    Leading the way for the Hurricanes is sophomore Zach Goldberg (17-2) at the No. 1 singles position. A member of last year’s Eastside team that reached state, Goldberg has teamed up with Cole Fiegel and the duo owns an 18-1 mark at No. 1 doubles. Fiegel, The Sun’s 2010 player of the year, is 17-2 at No. 2 singles, while standout freshman Peter Slaton is 16-3 this season at the No. 3 singles position.

    “We are going to focus on winning our first regional match and go from there,” said Goldberg, who transferred to GHS for its Academy of Health Professions program. “This is the postseason, this is what you look forward to at the beginning of the season.”

    GHS is just 9-7 in dual matches this year, but that was due in part to a challenging non-district schedule that featured six playoff teams. But the key for the Hurricanes reaching state could be the play of senior Jesse Gordon at No. 4 singles and Justin Zambelli at No. 5 singles. Zambelli and Slaton won a district title at No. 2 doubles last week.

    “If we can get quality play from the bottom half of the order, we can do something at state,” Spradling said. “It will also depend on our draw too.”

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