By Derrick Richemond
West Forsyth's boys tennis team made its first appearance in the Class 7A Final Four on Monday, where the Wolverines fell to Alpharetta 3-0.
West reached the semifinals of the state playoffs after three lopsided wins, defeating Mill Creek, Brookwood and Dunwoody by a score of 3-0.
‘When the bracket came out, we knew we liked where we were," West coach Neil Womack said. "We felt confident that we really could make a deep run. Being excited and feeling you got a chance is different from actually going out and doing it. Winning the way we did in the first couple of rounds absolutely helped the boys feel like they can keep going."
West finished the regular season as the Region 6-7A runner-up to earn the No. 2 seed and a home playoff match in the first round. The Wolverines upset two region champions [Brookwood and Dunwoody] in the playoffs.
Womack said he saw the team's depth as the season went on, which put the Wolverines in position to have success. When they were clicking on all cylinders halfway through the season, that is when Womack knew he had a really good squad.
“I was really happy to see the improvement that players from last year made in the offseason, and then the new guys we added really added a lot of talent and depth to the team," he said.
West's No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Jacob Tasin and junior Jace Balter played tons of tennis in the offseason, and it showed when they put on the Wolverine uniform, going 8-1.
“When they came out every match, we were expecting them to win," Womack said. "They were our rock that we kind of built around. It was really great to see them come out and play really great tennis."
After playing No. 2 singles last season, Tyler Cunningham saw in increase in competition level this year at No. 1 singles.
“I knew it was going to be a big step for him to play No. 1 for us, and he’s really stepped into it and came up big in big moments. His record isn’t as stellar as some of the other players, but his play was. He never gave up,” Womack said.
“I am very proud of this team both on and off the court. They play with a high level of sportsmanship and tennis skill,” Womack said. “Sometimes those things don’t go together. A lot of the other teams you might have one or the other. Our boys really play like gentlemen in a lot of cases. I’m proud of the culture and friendship we made.”