08/24/11 — E. Wayne-S. Johnston tennis

View Archive

E. Wayne-S. Johnston tennis

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 24, 2011 1:47 PM

Still on top.

Young and inexperienced Eastern Wayne opened defense of its Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference girls' tennis crown with a 9-0 triumph over South Johnston on Tuesday afternoon.

"I thought we played collectively as a team, played really well and showed improvement from last week over Fike," said Warriors head coach Craig Hassell. "We had consistent, heady play. Everybody contributed. It was a good team effort."

Eastern Wayne (2-0 overall, 1-0 ECC) extended its ECC win streak to 43 matches. Just two starters -- Grace Delbridge and Jackie Johnson -- return off last year's squad, which lost in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs.

Delbridge, the No. 1 seed, rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Madison Tart in singles. Johnson, the No. 2 seed, followed suit with a 6-1, 6-0 conquest of Ereka Parker.

First-year varsity starters Savannah Sutton (No. 3), Kristina Childre (No. 4), Blake Govan (No. 5) and McKenna Dove (No. 6) each seized a straight-set decision. Sutton, Childre and Dove did not drop a game.

"With each win, hopefully these new girls will get more confidence," said Hassell.

Johnson-Sutton, Delbridge-Govan and Childre-Dove each posted identical 8-1 results in doubles.

The Warriors return to action today at Nash Central, which is ranked No. 5 in the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association 3-A poll.

"We've got a big one tomorrow," said Hassell. "That should be a pretty good test for us, give us a gauge how we stack up with them. Hopefully we won't go over there with butterflies and just treat it like a regular match.

"We'll see what happens."