Preps: Winning its own event gives MBA tennis momentum for postseason tournament

Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 9:59pm

Montgomery Bell Academy coach Tom Boysen was all smiles after he watched the Big Red recapture the Carter Invitational tennis tournament championship after losing by a half point to St. Xavier of Louisville, Ky., last year.

MBA, the host of the 38th annual event, won with 19 points, four ahead of St. Xavier. Memphis University School (13) and Baylor (12) finished third and fourth, respectively. McCallie, with five and a half, and Knox Webb (one) rounded out the field.

“Last year, the rains hit the final day and St. X was ahead by a half-point at the time, with matches still left to play,” Boysen, the second-year coach, said. “That was disappointing, but it was great to see our guys come out this weekend and play the way they can.”

Left-hander Andrew Graham, Andrew Karpos and Kalyan Chadalavada led the way when they won at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 singles, respectively.

“Going into (Saturday), we had head-to-head matchups with St. Xavier at No. 4 and 5 singles finals and we won them both,” Boysen said. “That was the key.”

Karpos rallied for his victory.

“After I lost the first set, I just decided I need to start playing more aggressively,” Karpos, who also won Carter at No. 6 singles two years ago as a freshman, said. “It was a battle.”

Likewise, Graham lost his first set 6-0 to Baylor’s Jackson Pride but stormed back to win 0-6, 6-1, 6-1.

“I woke up tired and sick to my stomach, and I let that go to my head the first set,” Graham said. “I told myself to forget it, don’t make excuses and I started playing more aggressively, and it worked out OK.

“Winning Carter should definitely give us a lot of momentum going into the tournaments.”

It appears likely that MBA will face Baylor in the state tournament next month in Murfreesboro, either in the Division II semifinals or finals. MBA won a dual match this season, but Baylor won the Rotary tournament two weeks ago. MBA finished third in that event.

The DII individual regional championships are at Baylor this Saturday and Sunday. The next team match for MBA will be the state quarterfinals May 11 at home.

“If we keep playing like this, we’re going to be hard to beat,” No, 2 singles player Palmer Campbell said.

• Headed to Trevecca: East Lit guard Nick Drake will sign to play basketball with Trevecca Nazarene. Drake, a finalist for the recent Moss-Oliver award, will make his decision official at school at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

• Celebration for Davis: David Lipscomb will hold a celebration Friday to honor softball coach Gary Davis and his long-time assistant Jill Knott. Davis announced last week he would retire at the end of this season.

The ceremony will take place following the Mustangs’ 4:30 p.m. first round district tournament game at Burton Elementary field. All former players, parents and friends of the program are invited.

• Honoring Harper: Brentwood Academy will honor long-time Eagle track coach Charlie Harper at about 5 p.m. on Friday, preceding the annual Harper Relays, a meet named for him.

• Track titles: Host Harpeth Hall (girls) and MBA (boys) won the city championship Hill Center Relays on Friday.

David Lipscomb’s Barbara Lee Ball, who won the 1600 and 3200, and Maplewood’s Ladarius Vanlier, who won the 100 and 200 and anchored two victorious relays, were named the meet’s outstanding performers.

• Decathlon/Pentathlon at Lipscomb: The Class A/AA Midstate Region pentathlon and decathlon will be held Monday and Tuesday afternoon at David Lipscomb.

The five girls pentathlon events will be held Monday, along with the first five boys decathlon events. The final decathlon final events are Tuesday.

‘Grill on the Hill’: Athletic director Kurt Page has announced Franklin Road Academy will hold a “Grill on the Hill" dinner for friends of the school, 6:30 p.m. Thursday.