11/05/04 — Greene Central drops Tarboro for seventh straight eastern regional win

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Greene Central drops Tarboro for seventh straight eastern regional win

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 5, 2004 1:57 PM

SNOW HILL -- Last again?

Not this time.

After battling through a three-set match Tuesday afternoon and finishing long after the outcome had been decided, Christi Murphy vowed she wouldn't finish last Thursday afternoon.

The Greene Central junior needed less than an hour to defeat Tarboro High's Emily Spain 6-0, 6-1 at No. 5 singles. The straight-set victory started the ball rolling for the Rams, who took just 66 minutes to hand the Vikings a 5-0 loss in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A dual-team eastern regional final.

Greene Central (26-2) captured its seventh consecutive regional crown and opposes either defending state title-holder Charlotte Catholic or Wilkes Central at 9 o'clock Saturday morning in Burlington.

"We had a little more spring in our step today and a little more enthusiasm," Rams coach Donald Clark said. "We weren't overly enthusiastic, but I could sense from the point on all the courts that they can see the end is in it sight."

The Rams collected their 28th straight win against an eastern playoff opponent and 33rd overall since dual-team competition began in 1990. They finished 17-0 at home and beat the Vikings for the third time this season.

Viking coach Billy Strother had one simple goal -- win more games -- against the heavily-favored Rams on a warm, cloudy day. His team picked up nine games. Third-seeded Alison Thompson took four overall and trailed 3-2 in the second set as a light rain slickened the court. She didn't get a chance to finish against Summer Chase, who was bidding for her 31st singles win of the year.

But, by then, Greene Central had secured its 22nd shutout.

"I don't think anyone expected us to be playing tennis today," said Strother, whose team upset East Central champ Swansboro on Tuesday. "I'm proud of the girls. Their hard work has paid off. We've been together since May, working hard every day and it showed."

Sixth-seeded Ashley Harrell (26-1) claimed the Rams' second match -- a 6-0, 6-0 decision against Miranda Spain. Holly Mace (29-3), Sarah Moore (24-4) and top-seeded Meredith Rouse (22-5) each followed with straight-set wins.

Rouse and Moore each lost one game. Mace dropped two in the opening set against Minta Dupree.

"When playing Greene Central, you have to keep the ball deep, keep it in play and not make any mistakes," Strother said. "They can hit a winner off about any shot you hit to them. They're consistent and they have a strong ability to attack."

Tarboro concluded its most-successful season 16-8.

2004 N.C. High School

Athletic Association Class 2-A

Dual-Team Playoffs

Eastern Regional Final

(at Snow Hill Tennis Complex)

Singles -- No. 1 Meredith Rouse (GC) d. Robin Ellis 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 Sarah Moore (GC) d. Minta Dupree 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 Summer Chase (GC) led Alison Thompson 6-2, 3-2 (rain); No. 4 Holly Mace (GC) d. Jasmine Burroughs 6-2, 6-0; No. 5 Christi Murphy (GC) d. Emily Spain 6-0, 6-1; No. 6 Ashley Harrell (GC) d. Miranda Spain 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles -- Not contested.