RALEIGH — A few months ago Green Hope coach Beth Hedgepeth wasnt sure how her team would stack up in the state rankings, but as the Falcons season progressed, the team started to realize where it stood.
Once we saw some of the rankings, you know us being No. 3 behind Panther Creek and Broughton, I guess we felt a little more respected, Hedgepeth said.
The Falcons season has moved in line with the high ranking, as Green Hope advanced to its third state semifinals appearance in five years Monday after a 5-1 win at Millbrook.
Green Hope (16-4) will face Panther Creek on Wednesday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A dual-team tournament. The Catamounts won their third-round match against defending state champion Broughton to set up an all-SWAC East regional final.
Green Hope dropped both conference matches to Panther Creek (19-1) this year, but Hedgepeth said the Falcons will keep a positive attitude heading into the upcoming match.
Any given day it can be anybodys match, she said. You get a couple points in singles and you push it to doubles and you never know what can happen, but getting to the semis is a big accomplishment ... and were excited to be there.
The Falcons won five of their first sets Monday, but when three of the six singles matches were pushed to tiebreakers, both coaches thought the match may have to be decided in doubles.
Green Hope stayed focused and won two of those three to secure the Falcons win in singles play.
Karena Zhang won the No. 1 tiebreaker 10-2 over Millbrooks Lauren McCorquodale to win the match 6-4, 3-6, 1-0; and No. 6 Logan Castrodale won her tiebreaker with Marian Isdalh 10-5 to win 1-6, 6-2, 1-0.
I think that one of our biggest strengths is that we can come in at (Nos.) 3, 4, 5 and 6, Hedgepeth said. A lot of teams have those tough (Nos.) 1 and 2 players, but when you really are deep 3 through 6 thats when you feel confident coming into the matches.
Millbrooks Savannah Taranto earned a win for the Wildcats (14-3), coming from behind after losing 6-7 (2-7). She won her second set 6-3 to force a tiebreaker and eventually won it 10-8 in the No. 2 match against Jurasia Horvat.
Green Hopes Sara Ackerson defeated Maryam Yamadi 6-4, 6-4; Priyanka Srinivas defeated Emily Jerome 6-1, 6-3; and Ellie Ackerson defeated Natalie Wrenn 6-1, 6-2.
The loss was a difficult one for Kristy Blake, who is leaving her role as Millbrooks coach after leading the team since 2010.
They played their hardest, Blake said. I did think we would have really close matches, which we did, so its just a matter of a few points. We would have loved to go to doubles but just didnt quite get there. But weve had a great season. ... Im going to miss these girls.