Area players qualify for regional
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 12, 2006 2:38 PM
SNOW HILL -- Wayne County, as expected, will be well-represented at next week's N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A individual regionals in women's tennis.
Eastern Wayne teammates Lauren Bynum and Casie Musgrave qualified in singles along with Southern Wayne sophomore Tara Hirsch. The Warriors are also sending its doubles tandem of Mollie Musgrave-Lindsey Frederick.
Charles B. Aycock qualified all three doubles teams - Raychel Batts-Lizzie Sodoma, Kristen Prosser-Courtney Barnes and Kara Kelly-Kristen Bennett. Kelly filled in at the last minute for Emilee Quinn, who fell ill before the match.
Regional play is scheduled for Oct. 20-21 at the Barton College Tennis Complex in Wilson.
Bynum, the Warriors' No. 1 seed during regular-season play, cruised past Southern Wayne's Christy Westbrook 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round. Westbrook earned a play-in victory over Beddingfield's Poonum Ambelal.
Southern Wayne junior Katlyn Thornton, a second-year player, split sets with Bynum in their quarterfinal-round match. Bynum took control in the decisive third set and advanced to the regional level with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 victory.
Hirsch, the top seed in the 16-player singles draw, dumped play-in qualifier Madison Kearney 6-2, 6-0 in the first round. Hirsch faced teammate Amber Bowden, who pulled out two tiebreakers in her first match of the day.
Bowden earned another tiebreaking win in the initial set against Hirsch, who increased her level of intensity the next two sets. Hirsch prevailed 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2 en route to her 14th singles victory of the season.
Hirsch emerged the first two-time state qualifier in program history for head coach Brad Matthews since the Saints dropped to 3-A in 2001.
Eastern Wayne's Casie Musgrave claimed straight-set wins over Hunt's Paige Tyson and fourth-seeded Katie Wilson. Wilson concluded the year 15-2, which included a 10-0 worksheet during regular-season ECC play. Hunt's Anna Strader earned a regional berth with victories over Eastern Wayne's Elizabeth Borden and teammate Madison Cauley, who drew the No. 3 seed.
Unlike the dramatic results in singles, doubles seemed almost ho-hum on a partly-cloudy and pleasant afternoon at the Snow Hill Tennis Complex.
Batts-Sodoma, the top seed in the eight-team draw, easily defeated Kinston's duo of Abby Hill-Paige Culbreth 6-0, 6-0. Batts-Sodoma boosted their record to 12-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 conquest of teammates Prosser-Barnes.
"What we were looking for was not really today, but next week and the state tournament," C.B. Aycock head coach Luke Vail said. "We really feel like Raychel and Lizzie have a long ways to go at the state tournament. Once we put them in, that forces the other girls to be in a situation of playing doubles so they'd have a chance to get to the regional."
In the bottom half, Musgrave-Frederick dominated Southern Wayne's Whitli Thornton-Tara Tillman 6-2, 6-2. The Warriors knocked off the Golden Falcons' Kelly-Bennett 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinal round. Vail admitted not having Quinn threw his No. 2 doubles out of synch, but also credited the Eastern Wayne duo by saying "their girls played very well."
2006 Class 3-A
Eastern Carolina Conference
(at Snow Hill Tennis Complex)
Play-in: Christy Westbrook (SW) d. Poonum Ambelal (BHS) 8-1; Madison Kearney (K) d. Emily Harrell (BHS) 8-0.
First round: Tara Hirsch (SW) d. Kearney 6-2, 6-0; Amber Bowden (SW) d. Mary Catherine Hardison (H) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2); Katie Wilson (H) d. Nicole Fine (EW) 6-2, 6-0; Casie Musgrave (EW) d. Paige Tyson 6-2, 6-1; Anna Strader (H) d. Elizabeth Borden (EW) 6-2, 6-3; Madison Cauley (H) d. Emily Broadway (K) 6-1, 6-0; Katlyn Thornton (SW) d. Jordan Winslow 6-3, 6-1; Lauren Bynum (EW) d. Westbrook 6-1, 6-2.
Quarterfinals: Hirsch (SW) d. Bowden (SW) 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2; C. Musgrave (EW) d. Wilson (H) 6-1, 6-3; Strader (H) d. Cauley (H) 6-0, 6-2; Bynum (EW) d. Thornton (SW) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
Semifinals: Hirsch (SW) vs. C. Musgrave (EW); Strader (H) vs. Bynum (EW).
Play-in: Abby Hill-Paige Culbreth (K) d. Laci Greene-Candice Davis (BHS) 8-5.
Quarterfinals: Raychel Batts-Lizzie Sodoma (CBA) d. Hill-Culbreth (K) 6-0, 6-0; Kristen Prosser-Courtney Barnes (CBA) d. Sarah Culbreth-Jesse Anderson 6-1, 6-2; Mollie Musgrave-Lindsey Frederick (EW) d. Whitli Thornton-Tara Tillman 6-2, 6-2; Kara Kelly-Kristen Bennett (CBA) d. Zolly Rivera-Dipa Patel (BHS) 6-0, 6-0.
Semifinals: Batts-Sodoma (CBA) d. Prosser-Barnes 6-1, 6-1; M. Musgrave-Frederick (EW) d. Kelly-Bennett 6-0, 6-0.
Finals: Batts-Sodoma (CBA) vs. M. Musgrave-Frederick (EW).
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