Owen boys tennis wins conference, star freshman leads charge as coaches set eye on states

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Freshman conference champion Blake Bradley stands next to competitor Corey Powell.

The Owen High boys tennis team will move on to regionals after dominating in conference play. Owen leads its conference with a 7-0 record. 

Much of Owen's success is due to freshman Blake Bradley. Bradley went undefeated in the conference tournament, earning Western Highlands Conference singles champion and Conference Player of the Year. 

"He's our No. 1 player," said coach Michaellyn Pasztor. "He beat the 1A player and the 2A players to win the whole, overall conference."

According to assistant coach Chris Barcklow, Bradley played tough opponents in the tournament, resulting in close matchups. In the final match of conference play, Barcklow said Bradley faced Corey Powell, Draughn High's No. 1 player.

After being down 2-5, Bradley overcame the deficit to win the tournament, Barcklow said.

Bradley holds a 12-3 overall record for the season. 

"Blake will do pretty well," Pasztor said in reference to the upcoming regional tournament. "He was 6-0 in the conference."

Doubles team Rawley Wilson and Wilson Davis will also continue postseason play in regionals after winning the first two rounds at the conference tournament but losing in the final. Captain of the team, Wilson numbers among Owen's other top players, according to the coaching staff. 

Owen doubles team Rawley Wilson and Wilson Davis pose for a photo. The duo were the runners-up in conference play and advanced to regionals.

If Wilson and Davis can win two rounds at regionals, the duo will progress to the state championship.

Going into regionals, Pasztor said it's been helpful for Owen to play larger teams. She said the players have been strong throughout conference play and should do well through the rest of the postseason.

"We've got a great team," Pasztor said. "Everybody's been pulling their weight."

Pasztor said the team will continue postseason play on May 3. 

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or emaille@blackmountainnews.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.