CARY — Less than a week after the N.C. High School Athletic Association girls’ individual tennis tournament wrapped up, three state champions took to the court Wednesday to try to propel their teams to the next round of the dual-team tournament.
Singles champion Maggie Kane and her Broughton Caps team traveled to Panther Creek, home of doubles champions Sammi Smith and Jordan Strickland, for the tournament’s third round.
The teams had met at Broughton this season, and again, the Caps prevailed. Broughton beat Panther Creek 5-1 on a windy, chilly afternoon to move on to host Green Hope (20-3) in the semifinals Thursday at 4 p.m.
Transitioning from a hectic weekend at the individual tournament to team play just days later, made for an emotional match.
“The team tournament is most important to me, because that’s why I play high school tennis,” Kane said. “Being part of a team and playing for your school, it’s just great.”
In the No. 1 match, Kane topped Sammi Smith, who was playing up a spot because of an injury to Megan Smith, 6-4, 6-3.
Strickland was the only winner for the Catamounts (19-2), beating Kelsey Boole 6-1, 6-4.
“Everybody was playing up a spot, so today was not exactly ideal for us,” said Panther Creek coach Nathaniel Blalock. “But even with that, we made them earn every point. Broughton is a great team and they deserve every win.”
Kara Summerford defeated Orla Labiche 6-1, 6-1; Olivia King defeated Loren Kim 6-3, 6-4; Adrienne Overcash defeated Brooke Namboodri 6-1, 6-0; and Ashley Ramsay defeated Marjorie Primm 6-3, 6-1.
Overall, Blalock said he was happy with his team’s performance this year.
“I think we had a great season,” he said. “We had lots of new faces and we were able to incorporate them into the good team that we already had, and we ended up with a state doubles championship and a good run in the dual tournament. … We’ve set a lot of high expectations for ourselves. We’re losing one senior, and right now we’re just going to try to build on what we’ve got (for next year).”
Now Broughton (22-0) is looking forward to moving on and finishing what it fell short of last year.
The Caps lost 5-4 to Grimsley in the 2011 4A state finals.
“The loss was really hard last year because we were No. 1 and had won the year before,” Kane said. “This year we’re going to be ready for every match.”
The winner of Thursday’s match against Green Hope will face Grimsley in the state finals Saturday at Burlington Tennis Center.