Girls' tennis preview: Broughton goes for fourth title in five years

tstevens@newsobserver.comAugust 15, 2013 

Broughton won its 11th dual-team girls’ tennis championship in 2012 and is heavily favored to win its 12th during the 2013 season.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association began its dual-team tournament, where teams advance rather than individuals, in 1970. If Broughton can win the title again this fall, the Caps will have won half of the 24 girls 4A dual-team titles.

The Caps have won four titles in the past five years. Broughton has played in the dual-team finals in 16 of the last 18 years.

The Caps return most of the big hitters from last year’s 24-0 club that defeated Greensboro Grimsley 5-1 in the title match a year ago. Broughton won four of six singles matches in straight sets against Grimsley, which had defeated the Caps 5-4 in the 2011 finals.

Heading the lineup for coach Laura Davidson’s club is state singles champion Maggie Kane, who was 28-0 in 2012 and is 48-1 in her high school career. She was the No. 1-ranked player in the state in girls' 16s in 2012.

Kane is the top of a loaded lineup. In last year’s five-match march to the dual-team title, the Caps’ six singles players had a combined 27-3 record.

The domination was so complete that 4A doubles runners-up Adrienne Overcash and Kara Summerford didn’t play in a dual-team doubles match after a 9-0 first-round win against Smithfield-Selma. All of the other playoff victories were decided in the six singles matches and doubles were not played.

Junior Summerford (16-0 in singles), senior Overcash (14-0) and senior Olivia King (15-0) all return after playing Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in 2012.

The goal for 2013 is to repeat the accomplishments of 2012. Kane said the key will be focusing on each match. “We need to prepare for that particular match, not looking ahead to our busy fall schedule,” she said.

She said area teams are strong.

“Most of the teams in the Cap Eight and (Southwest Wake) are strong and we usually have close matches with those teams,” Kane said.

Teams to watch

Broughton: The Caps have won the NCHSAA 4A dual-team title in three of the past four years. They return their Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles players, all of whom were unbeaten in singles. Senior Maggie Kane was the NCHSAA 4A singles champ, is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Tennis Association girls' 16s rankings in North Carolina and won the N.C. Junior State Closed 16 singles title.

Panther Creek: The Catamounts (19-2) return five players to their lineup after losing to Broughton in the quarterfinals. The Catamounts won the Tri-Nine’s (now Southwest Wake Athletic) conference title, ending a five-year reign by Green Hope. Senior Megan Smith is the team’s No. 1 player and state qualifier in singles. Sophomores Sammi Smith and Jordan Strickland won the NCHSAA 4A doubles title and were undefeated during the season.

Green Hope: The Falcons (20-4) reached the NCHSAA 4A semifinals before being ousted by Broughton, 5-1. Green Hope returns a strong lineup with regional qualifier sophomore Karena Zhang, junior Jurasia Horvat and seniors Priyanka Srinivas and Caroline Sigmon.

East Chapel Hill: The Wildcats (16-3) advanced to the playoffs as the PAC-6 top seed and knocked off Greater Neuse runner-up Garner, 6-0, in the first round. The Wildcats were eliminated by a 5-1 loss to Panther Creek in the second round. East Chapel Hill coach Lindsey Linker has more than 750 dual-team victories and 16 boys’ or girls' NCHSAA state titles.

Millbrook: The Wildcats (12-7) tied for second in the Cap Eight Conference and lost in the second round of the playoffs to Green Hope. Millbrook returns 4A doubles semifinalists Lauren McCorquodale, a senior, and junior Savanna Taranto.

Sanderson: The Spartans (13-4) entered the 2012 playoffs as a wild card team after tying Millbrook for Cap Eight runner-up, but defeated Scotland and Durham Jordan to reach the third round before being ousted by Green Hope.

Cardinal Gibbons: The Crusaders (19-7) were NCHSAA 3A runner-up in 2010, 3A champion in 2011 and reached the NCHSAA 3A semifinals last year. Gibbons lost to Nash Central 5-1 in semifinals. Junior Devin Knors (44-16 in her high school singles career) reached the quarterfinals of the 3A singles championships, and classmate Natalie Freeman (39-10 in singles) qualified in the state 3A doubles competition. Freshman Lizzie Galush is expected to be solid.

Carrboro: The Jaguars will be led by junior Danielle Sawyer, who was the 2A singles runner-up. Carrboro reached the 2A semifinals and finished 16-4. The Jags fought their way through the dual-team bracket, beating Kill Devil Hills First Flight 5-3, Tarboro 5-4 and Swansboro 5-3.

Clayton: The Comets are five-time defending Greater Neuse 4A champions and return four starters from a 17-1 club. Freshman Carmelle Joyner is expected to play No. 1. Junior Maya Guha was all-conference at No. 1 in 2012. Also back are league doubles champions Logan Boykin and Elezcia Singletary. Katherine Riley qualifed for the sectionals last year.

N.C. Science & Math: The Unicorns (15-4), now 2A, ripped through the early rounds of the NCHSAA 1A dual-team tournament, posting a 22-2 record in the four preliminary games. Science & Math defeated Franklin Academy in the 1A East title before being swept in the finals by Mount Airy, 5-0. They return three seniors who were state qualifiers in 1A doubles – Gabrielle Beaudry, Ashleigh Cleveland and Erin Rymiszewski.

Ravenscroft: The Ravens (16-4) reached the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A semifinals before being beaten by Charlotte Country Day, 5-4. Country Day lost to undefeated Charlotte Providence Day (20-0) in the finals. Ravens senior Emily Ratliff was an all-state pick.

St. David’s: The Warriors won the NCISAA 2A title, with sophomore Maggie Payne winning at No. 3 singles, eighth-grader Beatrice Holding winning at No. 4, Micaela Hofer winning at No. 5 and Catherine Seifert at No. 6.

Ones to watch

Susanne Boyden, Wakefield, Soph.: Reached quarterfinals of the NCHSAA 4A singles finals. No. 3 in USTA’s North Carolina girls 14s in 2012.

Jennifer Byrd, Triton, Jr.: Part of a duo that qualified for the 3A doubles state tournament.

Clara Hazlett-Norman, Carolina Friends, Sr.: Was one half of a NCISAA 2A state doubles championship tandem for the state semifinalist Quakers.

Jamie Rogers, Cary, Sr.: 4A singles semifinalist and conference singles champion for the second time in her career. Ranked No. 7 in the state girls’ 18s.

Una Healey, Durham School of the Arts, Soph: State 2A tournament qualifier in singles.

Darden King, Raleigh Charter, Jr.: Qualified for the state 1A singles state tournament.

Casey Langer, Franklin Academy, Jr.: Qualified for 1A singles state tournament.

Anastasia Morgus, Cary Academy, Sr.: Ranked the No. 12 senior in the state by tennisrecruiting.net.

Josie Newburg, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Qualified for 2A doubles state tournament. The Red Wolves move to 3A this year.

Caroline Utt, Saint Mary’s, Soph: Was a NCISAA 3A all-state pick.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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