Skip to main content

Match report: Cape Henry 6, Norfolk Collegiate 3

It's not always easy to carve out enough time to take in a high school match, but last Thursday (March 30) we made it out to Old Dominion University to check out two of the top teams in Hampton Roads, Cape Henry and Norfolk Collegiate. It's even harder to find the time to write up what we witnessed during men's and women's basketball's Final Four weekend (How 'bout dem Gamecocks!).

But now that the hoops have calmed down....

Cape Henry 6, Norfolk Collegiate 3

Key to victory - In freshmen fraternal twins Alexey and Boris Lunin and senior Andrew Roberts, the Dolphins have three dominant No. 1-caliber performers. The top two doubles teams of the Lunin brothers and Roberts and Flynn Somers are also formidable. So that's five team points - enough to lock down a victory - right there. To beat the Dolphins, a team must have the depth to sweep the matches at the bottom of the order and enough front-line talent to steal one or two points from Cape Henry's Big Three in singles or at No. 1/2 doubles. To their credit, the senior-laden Oaks come closer than most to having this type of team. But on this day, the Dolphins still had too much firepower in the majority of the matches. The Oaks will get another chance quickly - these teams meet again Friday at Cape Henry.

Five-star matchup - At No. 1 singles, Davidson-bound senior Alex Loope of Norfolk Collegiate out dueled freshman sensation Alexey Lunin 7-6 (5), 6-4. It was Lunin's first loss of the season after three victories in third-set tiebreaks. It was also the Dolphins' first loss in 12 singles matches so far this season involving either one of the Lunins or Roberts.

As the score suggests, both Loope and Lunin had opportunities to prevail. The lefthanded Lunin is a spectacular shotmaker and scored with several breathtaking winners, including one where he appeared to misjudge an overhead, then whirled around and smacked a high backhand for a ridiculously angled winner. Loope has a pretty potent arsenal too, though, and the fact that he was a bit steadier, particularly deep in the sets, was probably the difference.

"I just wanted to stay consistent, kind of wait him out," Loope said. "When he's hitting winners, you just kind of shrug 'em off because you know they're going to come. And a lot of times, they tend to come in waves."

For the complete match-by-match results, visit our Facebook page.


Cape Henry improved to 4-0 while continuing to successfully navigate through a rigorous schedule. The Dolphins' resume also includes 5-4 victories over the Collegiate School (Richmond) and Norfolk Academy and a 6-3 decision over the Potomac School.

Norfolk Collegiate is now 2-2.

Break points

- It's hard to overstate the impact on the already well-stocked Dolphins of arrival of the talented Lunins, who previously had been living - and training - in California during the school year. It's kind of like if the Golden State Warriors had not just added Kevin Durant, but also brought in Russell Westbrook, too.

- Norfolk Collegiate battled through its first four matches, including Thursday's, without senior Trafton Addison, who is expected to play No. 2 or No. 3. Addision scored the male lead in Cape Henry's production of "Legally Blonde." The play kicked off its three-day run Friday, and Addison was expected to trade in his greasepaint for a tennis racket beginning Monday. By the way, if anyone wants to e-mail us a review of Addison's performance, we'd appreciate it. We loved "Legally Blonde."

- Cape Henry's not the most vocal, rah-rah team we've seen. In fact, they may be the least. The team's youth probably factors into this - the Lunins are obviously new to high school tennis, Somers is a freshman and No. 5 Luca Bezada is a sophomore. Also, coach John Hill, who seems to be a fine guy and obviously knows what he's doing, isn't exactly Dickie V when it comes to commentary. But it may simply come down to this - when your rackets speak as loudly as the ones wielded by these Dolphins, there's probably not much else to say.

- Norfolk Collegiate debuted its new team jerseys Thursday. The players and first-year coach James Moskowitz insisted there was no Tar Heel bias involved, but the color sure looked like "Carolina blue" to us, especially with that "NC" logo plastered on the front.

- The Oaks have eight seniors, and with Addison back in the fold can now feature an all-senior top six. The goal is to return to the VISSA Division II state final - a year ago, the Oaks lost the title match to North Cross - and this time take that final step.

"I feel like it's our time," Loope said.

Norfolk Collegiate also has several up-and-coming freshmen and sophomores, and Moskowitz hasn't hesitated to work them into the lineup. So while this year's team features a win-now collection of veterans, the program's future appears to be in decent shape, too.

Next up

Cape Henry will have another heavyweight encounter with Norfolk Academy on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Cape Henry. Norfolk Collegiate visited Nansemond-Suffolk Monday and, as mentioned earlier, will visit Cape Henry on Friday.

Friendly reminder - Coaches, remember to promptly forward your scores to our Facebook page. We can't keep track of this stuff without you.


  1. Excellent article! Great coverage of Norfolk Collegiate, we(parents) deeply appreciate.

    1. Thanks. But seriously, how was the play?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

NA's Kahatapitiya tops boys tennis rankings

What's a sport without rankings, right? So here we go with our debut of the Top 10 boys singles players in South Hampton Roads. Next week, we'll roll out the girls tennis rankings.

Opinions, pro or con, are always welcome. In fact, they're highly encouraged. So hit us up with your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or at

Oh, and coaches, don't forget those scores!

Boys tennis rankings
1. Romesh Kahatapitiya, Sr., Norfolk Academy
     - Always a beautiful ball striker, the Naval Academy-bound Kahatapitiya is gaining the tactical proficiency to match and has been playing like a flat-out beast of late. Tuesday's 6-3, 6-3 victory over Cape Henry's Alexey Lunin may not have been as decisive as that score suggests - we're told the match was littered with 50-50 games and quality exchanges. Still, three and three against Lunin is about as impressive a scoreline as you're going to see.

2. Alex Loope, Sr. Norfolk Collegiate
     - Loope caught ou…

Are you playing for a Top-10 team (girls edition)?

Now that we're into the business end of the girls tennis season, here's our first crack at ranking the top 10 teams in South Hampton Roads. As always, your critiques aren't just welcome, they're highly encouraged via Twitter, Facebook or at

1. Cox
     - Surprise! A season-opening 5-4 victory over Granby suggested that the Falcons may not be quite as head-and-shoulders ahead of the field as in years past. We're also eager to see what happens on May 10 when Cox travels to Kellam. For now, though, let's just say that tabbing Cox the favorite in girls tennis is an extremely sturdy limb to be out on.

2. Nansemond River
     - The Warriors won their first match 8-1. They've won the next nine - against victims including Grassfield, Hickory and Great Bridge -by an emphatic 9-0. By now, everyone knows about No. 1 Erin Bonney, a two-time conference singles champion. But the fact is that, so far this season, the Warriors have been better than t…

Match report - Norfolk Collegiate 8, Maury 1

Remarkably, these teams weren't originally scheduled to play this season. Credit Norfolk Collegiate coach James Moskowitz and Maury's Janita Burgess Hess for having the good sense to pair up these traditional Norfolk rivals and have at it. Can't imagine why this match isn't on the schedule every year.

Norfolk Collegiate 8, Maury 1
Don;t let the team score mislead you as the Commodores, easily a Top-5 public school team in this area, were competitive in virtually all the matches. But Norfolk Collegiate has been playing tough competition all season and were ready for this kind of challenge. The Commodores, meanwhile, barely needed to take off their warmups in winning their first six matches and were coming off spring break. In other words, the Oaks had a huge edge in match toughness, and it showed as they had the right answers everywhere except at No. 3 singles, where Maury's Ethan Willingham outdueled Trafton Addison 7-5, 6-3.

Man of the match - Dan Duan, Norfolk Coll…