Falcons soar at tennis regionals
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 24, 2005 2:19 PM
WILSON -- Charles B. Aycock junior Raychel Batts easily defended her Class 3-A eastern regional individual title for the third consecutive year, but teammates Nicole Taylor-Lizzie Sodoma turned in a dramatic performance Saturday afternoon.
Batts and Wilson Hunt's Andrea Michalak met for the second time in 10 days and third time overall. Much like the previous two meetings, Batts surrendered a couple of first-set games before rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 win.
Batts lost just four games in regional play.
"Raychel was simply phenomenal," veteran Aycock coach Luke Vail said. "She did an excellent job of moving her opponents from side to side, which resulted in numerous winners for her.
"She played with intensity and emotion throughout the tournament."
Batts boosted her career record to 83-3 and is the first Aycock player to win three regional championships.
Taylor-Sodoma, unseeded in the 16-team field, put together a pair of thrilling three-set wins and kept the doubles title in Pikeville. The duo trailed 5-2 in the second set against Southern Nash's Amanda Keeny-Heather Sanders before rallying for a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory.
Keeny-Sanders held serve at 6-5 and Taylor held serve at 6-6. The Golden Falcons seized control in the tiebreaker and dominated third-set play.
Taylor-Sodoma escaped 7-5 in the opening set against Washington's Rachel Perkinson-McKenna Cox. They cruised to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but watched Perkinson-Cox reel off six consecutive games to win the set and go up 1-0 in the third.
But, Taylor-Sodoma bounced back for a 6-1 victory in the decisive set.
"Nicole and Lizzie simply never gave up and continued to work together and hustle as a team," said Vail. "Nicole's serve was simply incredible and Lizzie did an outstanding job of putting the ball away at the net.
"These two girls worked so hard, it was simply unbelievable (after) playing 11 sets of doubles in two days."
Batts and Taylor-Sodoma begin their quests for state titles next weekend in Burlington. First-round play begins Friday morning at the Burlington Parks and Recreation Center.
At Snow Hill, Greene Central dominated doubles play in the Mideast regional while Cardinal Gibbons earned supremacy on the singles scene.
The Rams' top-seeded tandem of Meredith Rouse-Brittany Horton remained unbeaten in 22 outings with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over teammates Christi Murphy-Ashley Harrell.
"The doubles final was really a great match," said Greene Central coach Donald Clark. "All four girls palyed extremely well. In the end, I thought Brittany's volleying made the difference."
It's the second year in a row that Greene Central's doubles teams played for the regional title. Rouse seized her fourth regional title after winning the eastern regional singles crown in 2002. She claimed the doubles crown in 2003 and 2004 with former partner Sarah Moore, who graduated last spring.
Cardinal Gibbons' Nancy Reilly, the No. 1 seed, edged teammate Grace Whitely 6-3, 7-6 (1) in the singles final. Gibbons and Greene Central are expected to meet in the eastern semifinals in dual-team play on Nov. 1.
At Herman Park, Topsail swept the singles and doubles in the 1-A east regional. Francesca Radi, the No. 1 seed, stopped three-time regional champion Stacy Smith 6-2, 6-0 in the final.
Radi raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set before Smith (17-2) pulled within 3-2. Inconsistent serving and unforced errors haunted Smith, who didn't hold serve the remainder of the match.
"Stacy played well to start with, but Radi was just too consistent and too pinpoint with her placement," said Spring Creek coach Robert Jones. "Stacy had a great tournament. To be a three-time champion and finalist this year, that is a great accomplishment for her."
Topsail's No. 1 doubles of Martha Morris-Brittany Cockreil lost just eight games in three matches. They defeated Williamston's Sarah Smith-Abby Hardison, the regional's No. 2 seed, by a 6-4, 6-0 count in the championship.
Rosewood senior Kayce Brantham also qualified for the state finals with two victories on Friday. Brantham (19-2) lost just one game in back-to-back wins over Anastasia Zhulina (Topsail) and Sandra Ruan (E. Bladen).
Radi defeated Brantham in the semifinals.
Notes: The top four seeds in the 3-A regional, including Aycock's Carlyn Claiborne-Laine Purcell, all suffered second-round upsets on Friday. ... Eastern Wayne's doubles of Lauren Bynum-Casie Musgrave endured a first-round loss. ... Southern Wayne freshman Tara Hirsch finished 14-4 overall. ... The 1-A and 2-A finals are slated for the Cary Tennis Center next Friday and Saturday.
2005 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 3-A
Eastern Individual Regionals
(at Barton College, Wilson)
First round: Andrea Michalak (Hunt) d. Nikki Taylor (SWE) 6-1, 6-1; Sarah Johnson (RM) d. Chelsea Sweet (DHC) 6-1, 6-2; Melanie Collins (W. Oak) d. Page Ruse (Jax) 6-1, 6-1; Ally Rushing (Hert. Co.) d. Lizzie Blayney (S. Central) 6-0, 6-1; Ferrell Wiggins (Fike) d. Sarah Brown (HC) 6-2, 6-1; Janna Oxendine (N. Central) d. Tara Hirsch (SW) 6-2, 7-5; Mary Morris (DHC) d. Jolisia Smith (S. Central 6-2, 6-2; Raychel Batts (C.B. Aycock) d. Rainey Wallace (Hunt) 6-0, 6-1.
Quarterfinals: Michalak (Hunt) d. Johnson (RM) 6-0, 6-0; Rushing (HC) d. Collins (WO) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3; Oxendine (NC) d. Wiggins (Fike) 6-3, 6-2; Batts (CBA) d. Morris (DHC) 6-0, 6-0.
Semifinals: Batts (CBA) d. Oxendine (NC) 6-0, 6-0; Michalak (Hunt) d. Rushing (HC) 6-1, 6-0.
Finals: Batts (CBA) d. Michalak (Hunt) 6-3, 6-0.
First round: Carlyn Claiborne-Laine Purcell (CBA) d. Brooke Mills-Brittany Mills (Jax) 7-5, 6-3; Rachel Perkinson-McKenna Cox (Wash) d. Lauren Bynum-Casie Musgrave (E. Wayne) 6-2, 6-1; Ashley Pearsall-Emily Hughes (RM) d. Wendy Letchworth-Danielle Narron (Beddingfield) 6-3, 6-3; Courtney Whisler-Mary Hale (W. Carteret) d. Catherine Ospina-Kerrie Hayes (W. Brunswick) 6-4, 0-6, 6-3; Nicole Taylor-Lizzie Sodoma (CBA) d. Lyndsay Norris-Holly Harris (Currituck) 6-3, 6-1; Courtney Wheeless-Meagan Fish (RM) d. Lyndsay Burns-Lauren Baker (HC) 7-5, 6-4; Amanda Keeny-Heather Sanders (So. Nash) d. Maggie Foreman-Joanna Dodge (WC) 6-0, 6-0.
Quarterfinals: Perkinson-Cox (Wash) d. Claiborne-Purcell (CBA) 0-6, 6-2, 6-3; Pearsall-Hughes (RM) d. Whisler-Hale (WC) 6-1, 6-1; Taylor-Sodoma (CBA) d. Wheeless-Fish (RM) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; Keeny-Sanders (SN) d. Farris-Prince (Fike) 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4.
Semifinals: Taylor-Sodoma (CBA) d. Keeny-Sanders (SN) 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2; Perkinson-Cox (Wash) d. Pearsall-Hughes (RM) 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
Finals: Taylor-Sodoma (CBA) d. Perkinson-Cox (Wash) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
2005 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 2-A
Mid-Eastern Individual Regionals
(at Snow Hill Tennis Complex)
First round: Nancy Reilly (C. Gibbons) d. Michelle Jernigan (G. Central) 6-2, 6-2; Connie Nguyen (Graham) d. Laurie Sisk (W. Stokes) 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2; Mara Leigh Evans (Tarboro) d. Isabell Fagan (Reidsville) 6-1, 6-2; Porsche Pugh (DSA) d. Samantha Rayman (Franklinton) 6-3, 6-2; Avery Daniel (Reidsville) d. Casey Duncan (So. Vance) 6-0, 6-0; Grace Whitely (C. Gibbons) d. Jasmine Burroughs (Tarboro) 6-0, 6-1; Lachelle Gatson (Franklinton) d. Elizabeth Cooper (GC) 6-2, 6-2; Ruischsonna Usmanova (DSA) d. Leanna Robertson (E. Guilford) 6-1, 6-1.
Quarterfinals: Reilly (CG) d. Nguyen (Graham) 6-0, 6-3; Evans (Tarboro) d. Pugh (DSA) 6-0, 6-1; Whitely (CG) d. Daniel 6-0, 6-2; Usmanova (DSA) d. Gatson (Franklinton) 6-1, 6-2.
Semifinals: Reilly (CG) d. Evans (Tarboro) 6-1, 6-0; Whitely (CG) d. Usmanova (DSA) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Finals: Reilly (CG) d. Whitely (CG) 6-3, 7-6 (1).
First round: Meredith Rouse-Brittany Horton (G. Central) d. Scottie Whitely-Casey Perriccio (C. Gibbons) 6-3, 6-3; Lindsay Hare-Ashley Oxendine (S. Guilford) d. Karyn Devinny-Lily Smith (Northwood) 6-1, 6-3; Julia Chauvin-Rachel Coyle (Orange) d. Kaite Bright-Shannon Saylor (R. Rapids) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4; Miranda Spain-Nellie Wilson (Tarboro) d. Ashley Holder-Sarah Alston Trent (Reidsville) 6-4, 6-3; Catherine Norris-Chelsea Gailey (C. Gibbons) d. Ami Johnson-Mallory Butler (R. Rapids) 6-2, 6-3; Christi Murphy-Ashley Harrell (GC) d. Lauren Ivy-Caylen Quigley (Orange) 6-1, 6-1; Minta Dupree-Katie Hayes (Tarboro) d. Samantha Gilbert-Kimberly Legaux (McMichael) 6-0, 6-0; Alice Smith-Maria Tergliafera (W. Stokes) d. Carla Kay Pegram-Kristie Pernell (So. Vance) 6-1, 6-4.
Quarterfinals: Rouse-Horton (GC) d. Devinny-Smith (NW) 6-1, 6-1; Spain-Wilson (Tarboro) d. Chauvin-Coyle (Orange) 6-3, 6-4; Murphy-Harrell (GC) d. Norris-Gailey (CG) 6-1, 6-1; Smith-Tergliafero (W. Stokes) d. Dupree-Hayes 6-2, 6-4.
Semifinals: Rouse-Horton (GC) d. Spain-Wilson (Tarboro) 6-0, 6-0; Murphy-Harrell (GC) d. Smith-Tergliafero (W. Stokes) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
Finals: Rouse-Horton (GC) d. Murphy-Harrell (GC) 6-4, 6-3.
2005 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 1-A
Eastern Individual Regionals
(at John A. Farfour Courts, Herman Park)
First round: Stacy Smith (S. Creek) d. Alicia Freeman (E. Columbus) 6-0, 6-0; Kaitlin Powers (Topsail) d. April Whitaker (SE Halifax) 7-5, 6-1; Kalah Pridgen (E. Carteret) d. Lindsey Powell (W-Rose Hill) 6-3, 6-1; Beth Lineberger (B. Grass) d. Sidney Worrell (Rosewood) 6-1, 6-0; Kayce Brantham (Rosewood) d. Anastasia Zhulina (Topsail) 6-0, 6-1; Sandra Ruan (E. Bladen) d. Elizabeth Campbell (Gates Co.) 6-0, 6-0; Shelton (BG) d. Ashley Cottel (WRH) 6-0, 6-2; Francesca Radi (Topsail) d. Kaitlin Murphy (SC) 6-0, 6-0.
Quarterfinals: Smith (SC) d. Powers (T) 6-2, 6-4; Lineberger (BG) d. Pridgen (EC) 6-2, 6-1; Brantham (Rosewood) d. Ruan (EB) 6-0, 6-0; Radi (T) d. Shelton (BG) 6-0, 6-0.
Semifinals: Smith (SC) d. Lineberger (BG) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1; Radi (T) d. Brantham (Rosewood) 6-1, 6-0.
Finals: Radi (T) d. Smith (SC) 6-2, 6-0.
First round: Ritter-Gurkin (Williamston) d. B. Cottle-Evans (WRH) 6-1, 6-0; Narron-Parrish (N. Johnston) d. Tyler-Edwards (E. Columbus) 6-3, 6-4; Hardin-Britt (W. Columbus) d. Smith-Mathis (J. Kenan) 6-2, 6-0; Jones-Brown (JK) d. Steinlein-Richardson (A.-Grifton) 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (8); Willis-Safrit (E. Carteret) d. Harrison-Wright (SEH) 6-3, 6-2; Mundy-Connor (Lejeune) d. Schisler-Copanezos (Manteo) 6-2, 7-5; Smith-Hardison (Williamston) d. Bailey-Nichols (Rosewood) 6-1, 6-0.
Quarterfinals: Morris-Cockreil (Topsail) d. Ritter-Gurkin (W) 6-1, 6-0; Hardin-Britt (WC) d. Narron-Parrish (NJ) 6-0, 6-1; Jones-Brown (JK) d. Willis-Safrit (E. Carteret) 6-2, 6-2; Smith-Hardison (W) d. Mundy-Connor (L) 6-2, 6-1.
Semifinals: Morris-Cockreil (T) d. Hardin-Britt (WC) 6-3, 6-0; Smith-Hardison (W) d. Jones-Brown (JK) 6-2, 6-1.
Finals: Morris-Cockreil (T) d. Smith-Hardison (W) 6-4, 6-0.
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