The St. Augustine Prep and Middle Township High School boys tennis teams each won South Jersey championships by scores of 3-2 on Monday.
Top-seeded St. Augustine (21-0), ranked No. 2 in The Press Elite 11, beat defending champion and second-seeded Christian Brothers Academy 3-2 for the South Jersey Non-Public A championship.
Middle Township, third seeded and ranked No. 11 in the Elite 11, defeated ninth-ranked and top-seeded Woodstown 3-2 for the South Jersey Group I championship. The visiting Panthers (18-2), scored their 16th straight win. Middle has won the South Jersey title three of the last four years, also winning in 2016 and last year.
Haddonfield, ranked No. 5 in the Elite 11, beat visiting Pinelands Regional 5-0 for the S.J. Group II crown.
St. Augustine's Phil Ritchie clinched the Prep's win with a 7-6, 6-2 victory in third singles over CBA's Vito Mazza. St. Augustine's other winners were Michael Giunta at second singles and Rob Ritchie (Phil's brother) and Reilly Burhanna at second doubles.
St. Augustine will play a state Non-Public championship match at 1 p.m. Wednesday against Delbarton at Mercer County Park.
"I think this is the first time we've been to the state final since 2012 and the only time we won was in 2007 when I was a (St. Augustine) freshman," said Chas Berenato, the St. Augustine coach and former player. "It was a very close match today. It feels really good to get there. They have a chance for a lifetime accomplishment. The team has worked really hard and they're getting the results they deserve.
"Phil Ritchie's match only went two sets, but it had really long games and was close. Phil really concentrated on the big points, and he never lost sight of the game plan."
Middle's Max Gilbert won 6-0, 6-4 at first singles, and Justin Price added a 6-3, 6-2 victory in third singles. Teo Dimitrov and John Leahy won 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4) in first doubles.
"We were down 0-2 in matches, but tied it," said Middle Township coach Matt Gilbert, Max's father. "Woodstown played really well.
"Teo and John had a tough match. They were down in the third set but tied it and went up 5-4. They had three championship points to win it, but Woodstown tied it before we won on a tiebreaker."
Middle will play a state Group I semifinal match Wednesday at Mercer County Park. If the Panthers win, their state championship match will follow.
South Jersey Non-Public A final
(1) St. Augustine Prep 3,
(2) Christian Brothers Academy 2
At St. Augustine Prep
Singles—Connor Nelson CBA d. Vince Coiro 6-1, 6-1; Michael Giunta SA d. Kyriacos Petrou 6-1, 6-1; Phil Ritchie SA d. Vito Mazza 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Doubles—Matthew Mitchell-Niel McAlarney CBA d. Casey Burhanna-Conor Franz 6-3, 6-0; Reilly Burhanna-Rob Ritchie SA d. Jett Pacifico-Thomas Boyan 6-3, 6-0.
Records—CBA 21-7; SA 21-0.
South Jersey Group I final
(3) Middle Township 3,
(1) Woodstown 2
Singles—Max Gilbert MT d. Jordan Lindstrom 6-0, 6-4; Jason Petrin W d. Nick Gibboni 6-2, 6-2; Justin Price MT d. Dan Bonowski 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles—Teo Dimitrov-John Leahy MT d. Colin Christoff-Zach McHarness 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4); Trevor Lodge-Henrik Hoeldtke W d. Colby Watts-Owen Carlson 6-1, 6-1.
Records—Middle 18-2; Woodstown 5-3.
South Jersey Group II final
(1) Haddonfield 5,
(2) Pinelands Regional 0
Singles—Will Oberholtzer d. Brian Delbury 6-1, 6-1; Teo Lupinetti d. Andrew Schulz 7-6 (7-3), 6-1; Cole Roddy d. Arpit Gainder 6-2, 6-0.
Doubles—Nico Cohen-Alex Dante d. Sam Cardillo-Josh Kline 6-3, 6-2; Drew Driscoll-Mo Jishi d. Kieran Sundermann-Adam Grelak 6-0, 6-0.
Records—Pinelands 15-2; Haddonfield 21-4.