10/19/05 — "Business-like" Eagles shut down SE Halifax

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"Business-like" Eagles shut down SE Halifax

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 19, 2005 2:17 PM

Rosewood, working without a scouting report of Southeast Halifax, took a "business as usual" attitude into Tuesday afternoon's tennis match.

The Eagles played steady from start to finish and blanked the Trojans 5-0 in their opening-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A dual-team encounter. Rosewood (14-1) travels to either Williamston or Manteo next Tuesday afternoon.

Southeast Halifax concluded its season 3-3.

"I was very pleased with their play," said first-year Rosewood coach Debbie Bailey. "We had been practicing on playing not only to our skill level, but playing a more mental game. I think that helped us.

"I told the girls not to take them lightly before we went out on the court. They (Southeast) were really competitive."

Top-seeded Kayce Brantham seized the first nine games and rolled past Trojan senior April Whitaker 6-0, 6-1. Sidney Worrell and Missy Bailey each prevailed in straight sets against their respective opponents.

Meanwhile, Erica Nichols worked through some frustration and Jamie Andrews overcame a nervous start en route to singles wins.

Nichols, the fourth seed, and Southeast junior Ashley Wright contended with a broken net. The center strap jiggled loose and extended the center height, which bothered Nichols' service game.

The players traded games throughout the opening set and Nichols managed to keep a service break at 5-4.

"It frustrated both players," said coach Bailey. "You'd think something like that wouldn't bother you, but Erica's serves weren't getting over. Once she got over that, she was fine and just dominated (play)."

Nichols closed out the first set 6-4 and broke Wright's serve three times in a 6-0 second-set win.

Andrews and Southeast's Krystal Blackstock were tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 in the first set. Andrews eventually won 6-4 and shut out Blackstock 6-0 in the second set.

"Jamie was very nervous going into the match because we had never played this team before," said Bailey. "She didn't know what to expect and once she got her confidence, she was all right."

Andrews' victory clinched the overall win for Rosewood. The Eagles picked up just their fifth dual-team playoff victory and advanced to the second round for the third time since 2001.

"It was a good match for all of my girls," said Bailey.