MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — With one cross-court winner, any ill memories of last season disappeared for Charles Jabaley and J.R. Davis.
The Notre Dame duo won the first set of their Class A/AA state doubles title match, then had to rally in the second to force a tiebreaker before winning 7-2 over Knoxville Catholic's Jacob and Stephen Lorino for the Chattanooga school's first-ever boys' doubles championship.
They were the only area boys' tennis players to win Friday, as Baylor's Marko Mandic lost the Division II-AA singles championship to Memphis University School's Walker Sims, while MUS's Michael Apple and Spencer Richey defeated McCallie's Luke Orthner and Carter Eaves.
Both Jabaley and Davis fell to Central Magnet's Mason Grear in the 2013 Region 4-A/AA singles tournament, as well as losing to Christian Academy of Knoxville in the team state semifinals.
"We didn't want to mess around, because we knew that the Catholic guys were good players," Jabaley said. "We remember that feeling when we lost to CAK and didn't want to experience it again.
"We worked really hard, and it paid off."
They decided to join forces this season and ended up 23-0 with their final win coming Friday. Considering the outcome of Friday's match, they felt they made the right decision.
"Today feels 10 times better than last year felt, so it was all worth it in the end," Davis said. "It feels so good."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.