10/12/05 — Carolina Super Six -- Top Seeds advance

View Archive

Carolina Super Six -- Top Seeds advance

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 12, 2005 2:01 PM

The top four seeds in singles and doubles avoided upsets after first- and second-round play in the inaugural Class 1-A Carolina/Super Six Conference women's tennis tournament contested Tuesday afternoon.

Rosewood senior Kayce Brantham, the top seed in singles, remained unbeaten in 14 outings with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Spring Creek's Kaitlin Murphy. Brantham, who emerged the Carolina singles champion a year ago, opposes Wallace-Rose Hill's Ashley Cottle in semifinal-round play this afternoon at Herman Park.

Brantham is 27-0 in set play this season.

Second-seeded Stacy Smith and Rosewood's Sidney Worrell, the No. 3 seed, face off in the other semifinal. Smith (11-1) advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over James Kenan's Megan Sanderlin. Worrell, unbeaten in 15 outings, stopped Ayden-Grifton's Joelle Davis in the opening round and Wallace-Rose Hill's Lindsay Powell in the quarterfinals.

Worrell trailed early before turning back Powell 6-2, 6-3.

"Sidney did a real good job," said first-year Rosewood coach Debbie Bailey.

Smith collected 15 winners, including five aces, in her 52-minute, straight-set win over Sanderlin.

A senior at Spring Creek, Smith seized two early service breaks and raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set. Sanderlin gained one service break, but Smith dominated the next three games and closed out the set with a forehand winner down the line.

The players split the first three games in the second set with Smith leading 2-1. They traded service breaks, but Smith claimed two love games and boosted her lead to 4-1. Sanderlin struggled in both games and hit numerous first-serve returns into the net.

"She played well, I thought, and moved well on some volleys," said Spring Creek coach Robert Jones. "She got down low on some difficult volleys, bent those knees and kept the ball in play. Sanderlin had a hard time getting to them.

"Stacy needs to play like that tomorrow. If she does, I think she's got a shot."

Should Smith survive against Worrell, she'll face Brantham for a second time season. Brantham grabbed a straight-set win in their previous meeting nearly a month ago.

Smith defeated Brantham for the 2003 Carolina singles crown.

"It will be interesting tomorrow," said Bailey.

Rosewood's third-seeded tandem of Missy Bailey-Erica Nichols climbed to 13-0 and earned a regional bid. The duo recorded back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins against Heather Price-Jamison Mossberg (Spring Creek) and Jessie Smith-Brittany Mathis (James Kenan).

Bailey-Nichols opposes Ayden-Grifton's Laura Steinlein-Lindsey Richardson, the No. 2 seed, in today's semifinal.

"Missy and Erica did a great job in doubles," said coach Bailey. "They were really in synch. I am thrilled about (three regional entrants). These girls have pulled together all season long.

"I'm really looking forward to regionals next week."

The Eagles' twosome of Jamie Andrews-Karli Beasley nearly upset fourth-seeded Beth Cottle-Hannah Evans of Wallace-Rose Hill. The teams split sets before Cottle-Evans captured a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4 win.

Spring Creek's doubles of Jami Johnson-Ivey Best stopped North Duplin's Katie Swinson-Crystal Williams 6-1, 6-0 in first-round action. The Gator duo tumbled into the consolation bracket after a straight-set loss against top-seeded Christa Jones-Erica Brown of James Kenan.

"It would have been nice to get both freshman doubles into the regionals," said coach Jones. "(Johnson-Best) played well against James Kenan, but I think experience won out more than anything on the big points."

All four semifinalists proceed to next week's N.C. High School Athletic Association Eastern Regionals, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Herman Park. First-round matches begin at 2 p.m.

Four remaining regional berths, two each in singles and doubles, are up for grabs today in consolation-round play.