10/17/07 — Warriors eliminate Patriots from playoffs

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Warriors eliminate Patriots from playoffs

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on October 17, 2007 3:19 PM

Lindsey Frederick slammed her racquet to the court, muttered something under her breath and stared off in frustration.

Up and down the court, many of her teammates were seen doing the same at times. With all the aggravation, it was almost hard to believe the Eastern Wayne girls' tennis team was headed for a dominating performance.

Southern Alamance issued a challenge in the early stages during Tuesday afternoon's opening-round match in the Class 3-A N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs at Herman Park. But the Warriors' determination proved critical in a 6-0 win over the Patriots.

"The score does not indicate really how close the individual matches really were," said Eastern Wayne assistant coach Scott McConnaughey. "The girls did a very good job of playing to their strengths and exploiting the opposition's weakness. Really, every match was closer than the score indicated."

The Warriors' top seed Frederick had all she could handle against Jessica Brown. Brown led throughout the first set by hitting short shot in front of Frederick.

"(Jessica) was killing me on the short ball so I tried to keep it deep and play ground strokes with her," said Frederick. "It was really frustrating -- especially when you make stupid mistakes."

Frederick fought back to win the first set 7-5, easing the pressure on her. She then took the final set relatively easy 6-2.

"Lindsay's game is built on her athleticism and her mental toughness," said McConnaughey. "She has a warrior's mentality and just wills herself to win."

Eastern Wayne's Lauren Bynum bolted out to a 6-4 lead against second-seeded Shelby Curtis with her powerful shots. As the match wore on Bynum began to cramp up, opening the door for Curtis who forced a third-set tiebreaker.

Bynum had enough in the tank, though, to defeat Curtis 7-4 in the tie breaker.

"It got a lot closer there at the end with the cramping," said McConnaughey. "She gutted it out and did some good things in the tie breaker."

Mollie Musgrave didn't have the same problem against third-seeded Caroline Lindley. Musgrave rolled to a 6-1, 6-3 win.

"Mollie's game matched up well strength wise with (Lindley)," said McConnaughey.

Casie Musgrave had a much more difficult time against the Patriots' Megan Teague. It seemed whenever Musgrave would fight back from an early deficit, Teague would answer with solid ground strokes.

"It was one of the hardest rounds I've played," said Musgrave. "I just tried to keep my head in the game and concentrated on playing my game."

The focus paid off as Musgrave escaped with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

"Casie got behind, but didn't let herself get down and used the early games to figure out where to work the ball," said McConnaughey.

Danielle Daniel and sixth-seeded Elizabeth Borden picked up the remaining wins for Eastern Wayne to close the book on round one of the playoffs.

"The girls played well," said McConnaughey. "Every single one of them played well and they had to because no one was going to hand them the match."

The fight the Warriors (14-1 overall) showed against Southern Alamance only fed their already high confidence level.

"We're doing good, but we're not overly confident," said Casie Musgrave. "We still go in thinking this is a match to match thing and nothing is in the bag yet. We are confident because we know what we can do and what we're capable of doing."

Eastern Wayne 6

Southern Alamance 0

Singles: No. 1 Lindsey Frederick (EW) d. Jessica Brown 7-5, 6-2; No. 2 Lauren Bynum (EW) d. Shelby Curtis 6-4, 7-6, 7-4; No. 3 Mollie Musgrave (EW) d. Caroline Lindley 6-1, 6-3; No. 4 Casie Musgrave (EW) d. Megan Teague 6-4, 6-3; No. 5 Danielle Daniel (EW) d. Ashley Park 6-4, 6-2; No. 6 Elizabeth Borden (EW) d. Brittany Foster 6-0, 6-2.

Records: Eastern Wayne 14-1, Southern Alamance 15-3.