10/24/04 — Warren, Smith claim regional 1-A doubles crown

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Warren, Smith claim regional 1-A doubles crown

By David Williams
Published in Sports on October 24, 2004 9:41 AM

Finally, it was Sarah Warren's time.

The Spring Creek High School senior had been to two other Class 1-A eastern regional doubles finals in the past three years, and each time she and her partner were turned away.

This season, partnered with teammate Stacy Smith, was the charm.

Warren finally got the regional title she had sought with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Brittany Cockrell and Martha Morris of Topsail Saturday afternoon at the Herman Park courts.

Warren had been denied in the regional finals each of the last two years by teams form Rosewood High School. This season Eagle standout Stacy Ellis, who was on both of the regional champion teams, had graduated, and Warren's partner, Smith, was the regional singles champ in 2003.

In a situation indicative of the strength of the Topsail program, Cockrell and Morris advanced to the doubles finals after going three sets with top-seeded teammates Brandy Ather and Kaitlin Powers.

Warren and Smith advanced to the regional championship match with three relatively easy wins. The duo knocked off Porsche Pugh and Jenny Elander of Durham School of the Arts 6-0, 6-2 to open Friday's play, then qualified for state tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout win over Nikki Walker and Sarah Shelton of Bear Grass. On Saturday, the pair beat Christina Krtalic and Alisha Wolf of Durham School of the Arts 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the championship match.

In singles, Rosewood's Kayce Brantham secured her second trip to the state tournament despite losing in the regional championship. Brantham's baseline play proved strong throughout the tournament, but Bear Grass' Karen Knox matched her stroke for stroke and prevailed 6-2, 6-1 to win the title.

Brantham advanced to the regional championship after three solid matches. The Eagle senior beat Beth Lineberger of Bear Grass 6-0, 6-1 to open play Friday, them topped Cameron Tinkham of Gates County 6-1, 6-4 to qualify for the sate tournament. Brantham then opened Saturday's play with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Katelyn Bryant-Comstock of Durham School of the Arts.

Spring Creek's Sarah Bragg was ousted in her opening match, as Bryant-Comstock went past Bragg 6-0, 6-0.

Rosewood's Sidney Worrell beat James Kenan's Brittany Crabtree 6-0, 6-1 in the opening round, but lost to Durham School of the Arts' Natalie Roseman 6-2, 6-0 in the second round.

James Kenan's Beth Parrish and Brittany Crabtree lost their opening-round matches. Parrish fell to Abby Hardison of Williamston 6-0, 6-1 and Crabtree was ousted by Worrell.

In other doubles action, Spring Creek's Cynthia Breault and Kelly Murphy lost their opening match to Ather and Powers 6-3, 6-2.

Rosewood's Leah Smith and Kourtney Humphrey beat Lauren Cown and Jennie Roberson of Bear Grass 6-3, 6-1 before losing to Ktalic and Wolf 6-4, 6-3. Eagle teammates Missy Bailey and Erica Nichols lost their opening match Friday to Cori Riley and Elizabeth Gurkin of Williamston 6-2, 6-1.

James Kenan's doubles teams lost their opening-round matches. Megan Sanderlin and Lorry Chestnutt lost to Natalie Barnes and Amanda Lilley of Gates County 6-1, 6-2, while teammates Christa Jones and Allison Fonvielle fell to DSA's Krtalic and Wolf 6-3, 6-0.

The state tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at the Cary Tennis Center.

The teams move into the second round of dual-team playoffs Tuesday. Rosewood, who defeated James Kenan in the opening round, will travel to Durham for a matchup with Durham School of the arts. The winner will play winner of the Bear Grass-Topsail matchup the first week of November for the right to advance to the Class 1-A state championship.