Natalie Freeman said she was so nervous she doesnt know what she would have done without doubles mate Summer Jacobs remaining so calm.
Freeman didnt know that Jacobs was just as nervous as the duo fought off six match points to force a tiebreaker and eventually win at No. 2 doubles to give Cardinal Gibbons a 5-4 victory over Fayetteville Sanford in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A dual-team tennis semifinals.
I was on my second serve and it was match point, Freeman said. I dont know what I would have done if my partner hadnt been so calm and encouraging.
Jacobs said she had never experienced anything like the Gibbons win in a match that took 41/2 hours. The teams were tied 3-3 after singles, with the Crusaders No. 2 Lizzie Galush, No. 3 Freeman and No. 6 Kate Freed winning.
Terry Sanford (12-1) won at No. 3 doubles before Galush and Devin Knors won at No. 1 doubles. That set the stage for the No. 2 doubles finale before a large crowd that was increased as the match progressed.
Freeman helped Gibbons (26-1) claim a state title two years ago when her doubles match determined the win over Charlotte Catholic. But this was different.
Our match wasnt that close then, she said. But this was unbelievable.
Chapel Hill 5, Union Pines 0: Chapel Hill (22-1-1 and No. 1 in the N&O rankings) got three goals from Nate Hebert to advance to a second-round matchup against Pittsboro Northwood.
Chapel Hill has given up 12 goals in 24 games and has 13 shutouts. The Tigers outshot Union Pines 36-1.
Jordan 5, West Johnston 0: Jordan (15-3-2 and No. 2 in the N&O) notched its 11th shutout of the season. The Falcons have allowed 10 goals this season. West finished 10-12-1. Huntley Munn and Kaushik Puranam each had a goal and an assist for the Falcons, who next will play Heritage
Heritage 3, East Wake 0: Heritage (17-6-1 and No. 15 in the N&O) recorded its ninth shutout of the season in the 4A win over East Wake (7-9-2).
Clayton 3, Greenville Conley 0: Clayton (18-3-2) got two goals from Nick Christiansen, and the Comets won their first soccer playoff game since 2007. Christiansen scored on a direct kick three minutes into the match and added his second goal 10 minutes into the second half.
Millbrook 3, New Bern 1: Millbrook, the 25th seed, knocked off the eighth seed. Daniel Cobo, John Janezic and Kyle LaCivita scored for the Wildcats, who face Clayton.
Green Hope 6, Southeast Raleigh 1: Green Hope (19-2 and No. 4 in the N&O) ran past Southeast. The Falcons play Southwest Wake rival Fuquay-Varina in the second round.
Fuquay-Varina 3, East Chapel Hill 1: Fuquay Varina (13-7-3) trailed early after the Wildcats Zach Lee scored off an assist from Michael Balog but got two goals from Andrew Lawrence to rally for the win and to set up a rematch with Southwest Wake rival Green Hope. Dominic Oliveres supplied an insurance goal with 24:28 to play.
Garner 4, Wake Forest 3 (OT): Manny Perez scored from 30 yards in sudden-death overtime to lift Garner (16-4-1 and No. 5 in the N&O). Wake Forest took a 3-2 lead in the first overtime period on a Zac Morris goal, but Alejandro Carbajal headed in a free kick by Marco Perez to force sudden death.
The Trojans play Laney (15-4-2), which dodged an upset bid by Northern Durham (7-10-1).
Sanderson 6, Holly Springs 2: Sanderson (19-6-1 and No. 6 in the N&O) pulled away late to eliminate Holly Springs (11-8-3 and No. 10). The Spartans will play Wilmington Hoggard, a 2-1 winner over Apex.
Broughton 3, Greenville Rose 1: Broughton (10-8-2) beat Rose (12-8-1).
Fayetteville Pine Forest 2, Panther Creek 1 (OT): Pine Forest ended Panther Creeks season.
Southern Lee 5, Lee 2: Southern Lee (17-2-2) knocked off rival Lee County (10-9-1) in 3A play. Southern will play South Brunswick (6-10-3), a 3-0 winner over Northeast Guilford.
Smithfield-Selma 4, Pikeville Aycock 0: SSS (14-4-3 and No. 11 in the N&O) won its first soccer playoff game since 2005 and advanced to play Southern Nash, a 4-0 winner over Northern Nash.
Southern Wayne 4, South Johnston 1: South Johnston (9-1-1) was eliminated by Southern Wayne (10-6-1), which plays Jacksonville White Oak, a 3-1 winner over Swansboro.
Corinth Holders 4, Cedar Ridge 0: Corinth Holders (16-4-1) shut out Cedar Ridge (10-8-2).
Durham Science & Math 3, Dixon 0: Science & Math (15-3-2 and No. 14 in the N&O) recorded a shutout victory against Dixon (8-11-3) in 2-A action.
Whiteville 1, East Wake Academy 0: Whiteville (12-9-1, the No. 4 1A East seed) held on to oust upset-minded East Wake Academy (9-12-2).
Jordan-Matthews 4, Roanoke Rapids 2: Siler City Jordan Matthews (13-6-1 and the 17th seed) upended Roanoke Rapids (15-6).