On Saturday, May 20, 2023, the Cape Fear Academy's Varsity Boys Tennis team celebrated a glorious victory in the NCISAA Division II State Championship, defeating Greensboro Day School with an impressive score of 5-1. The Hurricanes' triumph marked their second title in three years and their eighth championship in program history.
The Hurricanes started the championship match with a strong showing in the doubles matches, grabbing a commanding 3-0 lead. The duo of Hayes Gilbert and Ben Kane dominated their opponents at No. 2, not dropping a single game. Grant Kleppinger and Cole Stockman fought hard for a 9-7 victory at No. 1, while Nikita Ivanov and Max Sherman secured an 8-6 win at No. 3.
Cape Fear Academy carried their momentum into the singles matches, winning the first set on four out of the six courts. Ivanov extended their lead to 4-1 with a solid 6-4, 6-1 victory at No. 4. Both Gilbert and Stockman were in winning positions at No. 1 when Kleppinger delivered the decisive blow, clinching the state title with a dominant 6-2, 6-1 performance at No. 3.
This 16-1 season showcased the Hurricanes' dominance, particularly in their matches against Wilmington schools, where they emerged victorious in every encounter. Junior Hayes Gilbert, who played at the top spot throughout the season, finished with a flawless 9-0 record in regular season competition.
With their 2023 state title victory, Cape Fear Academy's boys' tennis team has firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, showcasing their exceptional skills and unwavering determination on their path to success.