Surging Central boys tennis team wins conference semifinal

WOODSTOCK- Central High School’s boys tennis team continued a rebound Monday that began in late April when Coach Luke Robinson’s team was 2-9.

On Monday, the Falcons (7-9) knocked off visiting Rappahannock High School 5-1 in the Conference 35 semifinals team tennis match, their fifth consecutive win during a streak that has also included regular season wins over Warren County (twice) Broadway, and Clarke County.

Central No. 2 singles player Josh Sherman tripped Raider Caleb Donovan 4-6, 6-0 and 6-0 to clinch the match.

The No. 3 doubles adversaries were on the court at the Woodstock Recreation Park, but were called off after Sherman’s victory.

The Falcons, the second seed, will face top-ranked George Mason Wednesday at Fairfax High School, 3 p.m.

Mason dropped Clarke County 5-0 in the other Conference 35 contest on Monday.

Boys doubles championships will return to the Woodstock park on Thursday.

“In the first set, my shoulder was hurting, so I just concentrated on moving my feet and placing my shots,” said Sherman. “The longer I played I just focused on the play and not on how I felt. It was kind of body over mental fatigue.”

Sherman said the shoulder felt better after singles, but added he would go home and use a long band of rubber to stretch himself out.

“It will be OK,” he said.

Central’s No. 1 player Matt Bromley and Sherman, both seniors, missed portions of the regular season which may have been the Falcons’ undoing before May started. Since then Central’s total scores against the quintet of opponents has been 24-5.

Bromley suffered an accidental eye injury and Sherman was away on a Governors’ School field trip.

“Since we’ve been back we’ve definitely picked it up. I’d say we’re in a good rhythm right now,” said Sherman.

Bromley was told by the doctor to stay in bed for two weeks. By the end of the two weeks he could return to school but it took Bromley a while to adjust to getting back to the court.

Monday, he won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1. Brothers Will and Tommy Lam (third and fourth players) stopped their opponents 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively.

The Raiders’ fifth player, Adam Hayden, a senior, dropped sophomore Jacob Scibelli at 5 and Chase Rimel of Central took the measure of Ian Lewis, 6-4, 6-1.

Bromley’s service was at its best:

“My serve was spot on and fairly consistent,” said Bromley. “I kind of placed it well and I was hitting it well,” said Bromley.

He admitted that the several weeks off during the regular season were a concern at first, “but when I knew my eye was recovering, then it was just a matter of staying off my feet. It was kind of boring,”

“We started the season a little slow but we’ve turned it around in the last few weeks and that’s good,” said Central coach Robinson. “But little by little we’ve gotten our players back, and we’re playing well.”

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