Grace Boros almost seemed reluctant to step forward and receive a well-deserved honor.
Her teammates certainly didn’t mind celebrating the moment.
A junior at Goldsboro, Boros was named the East Central 2-A Conference women’s tennis player-of-the-year. Later in the day, she added the ECC singles tournament title to her impressive resume.
“First and foremost, Grace is very humble about her tennis game,” GHS head coach Russell Stephens said. “She is an extremely hard worker. She puts in time and effort to be a good player … deserves all the accolades that she is receiving now because she has put in the work.
“She is also a player who takes joy in seeing her teammates succeed.”
Seeded No. 1 in the nine-player draw, Boros had little trouble. She eliminated James Kenan junior Alysha Holmes in the quarterfinals, East Duplin’s Passion Henry in the semifinal round and East Duplin’s Brittney Jones in the title match.
Boros secured a berth in next week’s east regional at Greene Central High School.
Teammate Rachael Johnson qualified for the regionals with a third-place effort in singles. She started off with a 10-0 conquest of Spring Creek’s Savanna Willis, fell in the semifinals and bounced back to eliminate Henry in the consolation final.
Goldsboro, East Duplin and Clinton shared the ECC regular-season dual-team crown.
The Cougars (7-3 overall) won the draw for the league’s automatic berth to the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, which start Oct. 17.
“I think all of the girls really put forth the effort … really believed that they had a legitimate shot to win the conference championship, went out and got it done,” said Stephens, whose team will play host to the Three Rivers Conference runner-up.
“These girls did a really good job of believing in each other and helping each other. They complimented each other’s play as well as getting tough on each other when that needed to be done. Just a total team effort.”
The day-long tournament contested on the John Allen Farfour Courts at Herman Park turned into an all-Wayne County affair.
Spring Creek’s tandem of Amanda Haggerty-Ivey Rouse successfully defended their ECC doubles title and punched their ticket to next week’s east regional.
The top-seeded duo dispatched East Duplin’s doubles of Leigha Byrd-Kara Pepass 10-2 in quarterfinal-round play. They knocked off a pair of Clinton tandems — Maegan Byrd-Lizzy Tart and Isabella Faison-Rebekah Byrd — in the semis and finals, respectively.
“They were there to defend their title,” SC head coach Donna Haggerty said. “That adds a little more pressure on them to win, but I think they handled it well. We knew it would be their last conference tournament together since Ivey is a senior this year.
“This especially motivated them to win every match. Clinton’s two doubles teams gave them good competition. They were super excited to win the conference [again].”