NCHSAA girls tennis individual championships:
Published: Oct 29, 2012 11:23 PM
Modified: Oct 29, 2012 11:25 PM
Panther Creek’s Sammi Smith and Jordan Strickland are only freshmen, but the duo captured the 4A state doubles championship over the weekend.
And they did so convincingly.
Smith and Strickland defeated Broughton’s Adrienne Overcash and Kara Summerford 6-0, 6-2 in the championship match, which was moved inside N.C. State’s J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.
The three previous rounds were played Friday at Millbrook Exchange Park.
The Catamounts freshmen won their opener 6-1, 6-1 against Havyn Colon and Sarah Fenwick from Charlotte Ardrey Kell, then won 6-1, 6-1 against Winston-Salem Reynolds’ J. Klages-Miller and Christiana Woodard in the quarterfinals.
The semifinals saw the doubles team’s first match-up against a Broughton pair, but Smith and Strickland defeated Kelsey Boole and Olivia King 6-1, 6-2.
In singles play, Cary’s Jamie Rogers became a state semifinalist after picking up wins against Cornelius Hough’s Briana Bodner (6-3, 6-1) and McKayla Zupan of Wilmington Hoggard (6-0, 7-6).
Rogers lost 6-4, 6-2 to senior Chloe Willetts of Winston-Salem Reynolds in the semifinals. Reynolds is a former 4A singles state champion, winning it in 2009.
Rogers, the Tri-9 Conference champion, lost just three singles matches this season.
Willetts lost to Broughton’s Maggie Kane in the singles title match.
Panther Creek’s Megan Smith did not advance past the first round with an injury default against Hollie Champion of Matthews Butler.
Should Strickland and Sammi Smith choose to keep pursuing doubles championships, they could potentially become the second four-time doubles state champions in N.C. High School Athletic Association history.
The feat has rarely been accomplished for two reasons: Doubles partners are often on different grade levels, ruling out any chance of winning four times; other times one player will try to play singles one or more seasons.
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