• GHS Boys Tennis Beats Rams to Secure State Trip

    By Larry Savage, Gainesville Sun Staff Writer


    Published April 15th, 2011

    Peter Slaton. Photo by Sun Photographer Erica Brough

    For the first time since 2007, Gainesville High is heading back to the state tournament in boys tennis.

    e Class 3A, Region 2 second round at Jonesville Tennis Center. Gainesville, which has won four state titles in boys tennis, will go after No. 5 beginning Monday at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs.

    It was the fourth time Gainesville (11-7) faced the Rams this season, twice during the regular season and twice in the postseason (district and regional). Each time the Hurricanes came out on top.

    Gainesville, which swept St. Augustine 7-0 in Tuesday’s regional first round, won both doubles matches to open Thursday’s match. The Hurricanes’ No. 1 team of Zach Goldberg and Cole Fiegel won convincingly, 6-0, 6-2, over Eastside’s Frazier Springfield and John Yoo. But the No. 2 doubles match ended up being the match of the day.

    The Hurricanes’ Peter Slaton and Justin Zambelli outlasted the Rams’ twin-brother team of Tony and Tim Louthan, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, to grab an early 2-0 team lead.

    “That was huge for us,” said longtime GHS coach Paul Spradling, who led the team to state titles in 1996 and 1998, and runner-up finishes in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2005. “Peter and Justin really hung in there. Even when they lost the second set 1-6, they could have given up, but they didn’t. They out-battled them and won it. That was important for us. After that, all we needed was two singles victories to clinch it.”

    The ’Canes did more than that.

    Gainesville’s top three players — Goldberg, Fiegel and Slaton — all won in straight sets. Zambelli, who had been 0-2 against Eastside’s Austin Gillette this season going into Thursday, won convincingly, 6-2, 6-1.

    “Those first two matches were big for GHS,” said Rams co-coach Donny Reder, whose team finished its season at 9-6. “We thought we could battle with them, but they came out and took it to us. I was proud of the way our guys played. They really played hard, but Gainesville is really playing well right now.”

    Yoo picked up Eastside’s only win of the day at No. 4 singles.

    This will be Goldberg and Fiegel’s second straight year going to the state tournament.

    Last year, Goldberg was on Eastside’s regional champion team, which topped GHS. Fiegel qualified individually for the Hurricanes.

    “It’s great going to state with the whole team,” said Fiegel, the 2010 Gainesville Sun’s Player of the Year. “Last year I made it on my own, but this time everyone is going, which is cool. It’s a lot more fun going with the team.”

Comments are closed.