Aycock's Walker reaches semifinals in 3-A state tournament
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 29, 2012 1:48 PM
BURLINGTON -- Ashton Walker's phenomenal run ended.
Katie Gurley played her final match.
The Charles B. Aycock duo, along with Eastern Wayne's cousin tandem of Savannah Sutton-Faith Sutton, concluded their respective seasons in the 2012 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A women's individual tennis tournament.
Walker became the first Golden Falcon to reach the final four in singles since Raychel Batts in 2004. Gurley exited in the opening round, while Sutton-Sutton lost their first-round doubles match.
"Ashton had a great run in the state tournament," CBA head coach Luke Vail said. "She played outstanding tennis. Her consistent groundstrokes and mental toughness got her through a really tough match in the quarterfinals."
Walker began her state-title quest with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Meredith Emery of Marvin Ridge in the first round. She rallied from first- and second-set deficits to defeat Kaelean Forbes of Forestview 6-4, 6-4.
Sarah Jiang of Cox Mill ended Walker's unbeaten run Saturday morning and handed the sophomore a 6-2, 6-1 defeat. Walker concluded the year 31-1 and had won 62 consecutive sets before her semifinal-round loss.
"It was a great experience for Ashton to reach the final four and play with the best players in the state," Vail said. "She really represented our school, conference and regional very well."
Gurley fell to Charlotte Harding's Ja'ney Carrothers 6-3, 7-6 (5).
"Katie played the best tennis I have ever seen her play in the second set," Vail said. "It was unfortunate that she lost some tough points in the tiebreaker. She has a great tennis career at C.B. Aycock."
Sutton-Sutton, the No. 4 seed from the East, received a tough first-round draw. The tandem fell to eventual state runners-up Grace Deering-Rachel Tomchin of Charlotte Catholic 6-2, 6-3.
"They played a tough team and hung with them," EW head coach Craig Hassell said.
Weather permitting, Aycock returns to action today at state-ranked Nash Central in third-round play of the NCHSAA dual-team playoffs.
At Cary, Spring Creek's Emily Daniel and North Duplin's Julisa Quintanilla each suffered quarterfinal-round losses in the NCHSAA 1-A individual state tournament.
Daniel, a senior, fell to Lake Norman Charter's Hannah Archer 6-0, 6-0. Quintanilla, a freshman, dropped a 6-0, 6-1 decision to Bishop McGuinness' Kyndall Cortes.
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