Central’s doubles teams fall in district semifinals

Tommy Lam

WOODSTOCK – Central’s top two boys doubles teams were each one step away from a regional berth on Friday, but each came up short against George Mason.

Tommy Lam and Chase Rimel, Central’s No. 1 doubles team, lost in the Bull Run District individual doubles tournament semis to George Mason’s Miles Hefferman and Lucas Green, 6-0, 6-1. Central’s John Pulizzi and Jacob Scibelli lost to the Mustangs’ Chris Kim and Noah Surette, 6-0, 6-0.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody serve so fast,” Scibelli said of Kim and Surette.

George Mason’s Kim and Surette won the title over Hefferman and Green, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Both doubles teams advance to the Region 2B individual doubles tournament in two weeks at Wilson Memorial High School.

Lam and Rimel received a forfeit into the semifinals after Appomattox Regional Governor’s School chose not to play in the tournament held at W.O. Riley Park.

Chase Rimel Rich Cooley/Daily

In the semifinals, Lam and Rimel said they were caught off guard a little by how strong a doubles team Hefferman and Green were.

“They came out better than we expected and we weren’t prepared for it,” Lam said. “The second set we did volley with them a little bit more.”

It was the first year that Lam and Rimel have played together and they said they enjoyed the experience.

“As doubles partners, we started off a little slow because we needed to find a groove,” Rimel said. “And then we started playing well at the end of the season.”

In the quarterfinals, Pulizzi and Scibelli rallied to beat Clarke County’s Owen Mason-Hill and Issac Knittle, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

John Pulizzi Rich Cooley/Daily

“I think we just buckled down, Pulizzi said of the last two sets.

“I think we just had to focus a lot on hitting it consistent and just keeping our head in the game and then pulling it out,” Scibelli said. “We knew what they were going to play like after the first set. We knew how to do it, where to hit it, how to place it.”

The Falcons will not be in the regional individual tournaments, but they are going to regionals as a team. Central plays George Mason at Falls Church High School on Monday in the Bull Run District finals. Whether they win or lose in the district finals, they will play in the Region 2B semifinals on May 17 with a Class 2 state berth at stake.

Central coach Barry Arey said he was happy with how his two doubles teams played on Friday.

“I just can’t say enough about the attitude of my boys,” he said. “They’re great to work with. They try hard. I’m really looking forward to trying to build up something over the summer, trying to better our tennis just a little bit. You know we’re not bad. We can beat Clarke and we can beat Broadway. We’re not horrible, but were not (George Mason) and I don’t know that we ever will be. But I think we can make some progress.”

Jacob Scibelli Rich Cooley/Daily