09/17/10 — Eagles net first win of 2010

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Eagles net first win of 2010

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 17, 2010 1:47 PM

Rosewood and Goldsboro faced the same dilemma when girls' tennis practice started in August. Each realized they had a rebuilding phase to complete in their respective programs, and each understood there was plenty of room to grow.

The Carolina 1-A Conference rivals definitely took positive steps Thursday afternoon. The final score -- an 8-1 Eagles' triumph -- doesn't verify the overall outcome since tiebreakers were used to determine four singles matches.

Marieke Parrish, one of two returning starters for Rosewood, needed a second-set tiebreaker to emerge victorious at No. 1 singles. Teammate Rebecca Sass, the No. 4 seed, also won a second-set tiebreaker.

Sixth-seeded Abigale Godwin, whose father passed away during the summer, showed the most grit and determination in hot conditions. The sophomore pulled out a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 10-6 over the Cougars' Alisa Briggs at the No. 6 spot.

"(The tiebreakers) show there's really no losers on the court in that situation," said Cougars head coach Ryan Spell. "I thought we played strong. Many of the girls fought through fatigue and really battled to the very end in their matches.

"Both teams did."

Rosewood (1-3 overall, 1-2 CC) snapped a three-match skid, which included losses to reigning Carolina champ Ayden-Grifton and county foe Southern Wayne. Goldsboro exited 0-4, with all results occurring in league play this season.

"Those two (varsity) matches were tough on us and that was certainly discouraging to the girls," said Eagles head coach Debbie Bailey, whose team fell to Ayden-Grifton and Southern Wayne. "Those matches, I think, really helped prepare us for today. This is a big win for us today, especially for the girls' confidence."

The Eagles' Elise McSwain, also a returning starter, turned back Goldsboro's Cassidy Morris 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Third-seeded Victoria Holzkamm dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 conquest of Goldsboro's Davis Houtzer at No. 3 singles.

Junior Hunter Houtzer claimed the Cougars' lone point with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over Rosewood's Janasia Haynes.

Parrish-McSwain triumphed at No. 1 doubles for the Eagles, which clinched the overall match. Goldsboro defaulted the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.

"I'm really thrilled with today," said Bailey.