Eastside boys tennis coach Don Reeder credited his team's quick start as the key to victory in a Wednesday matchup at the state quarterfinals. The next day, the Satellite Scorpions seized that strategy themselves and sent the Rams to a 4-1 defeat in state seminal action at Red Bug Lake State Park in Casselberry.
"We were hoping to come out strong in doubles, and our guys played tough, but Satellite was able to take both of the doubles points," Reeder said in a phone interview. "That left us with an uphill battle in singles, where we had to win four out of five singles to win."
Down 3-0, sophomore Ben Davis staved off defeat by dispatching Satellite's No. 4 player in three sets, but it was the only point Eastside could muster.
"They were a really strong team," Reeder said. "They matched up well against us."
Satellite later fell to eventual Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale), which claimed the Class 2A state title.
Reeder said he was proud of his team for making state—the first trip in six years for Eastside boys tennis—and for winning in the quarterfinals.
"Getting to the final four is pretty impressive, since this is the first time these kids have been to a tournament of that caliber," he said. "We went out there and played our best tennis, which is about the only thing you can ask for."
Eastside will lose its No. 1 player, Ethan Cockey, but the rest of the team will return next season. Reeder said he believes this year's experience made them hungry for more success.
"They came off the court slightly disappointed, but more importantly, they come off the court more motivated to work hard and get back next season," Reeder said. "We should have a very strong team next year."