Undefeated N.C. School of Science & Math had another chance this weekend for a third state high school tennis championship after eliminating Carrboro from the 2014 post-season tournament.
The Unicorns defeated Carrboro by a 5-1 score Thursday at Durham’s Rock Quarry Park.
Carrboro ended its year with a 15-3 record, exiting in the N.C. High School Athletics Association East Region 2A semifinals for a second straight year at the hands of NCSSM.
“I think we had a great season. It was our best season yet, for sure,” Carrboro senior Olivia Shaheen said. “It came down to the two of us last year. They are a very skilled, talented team. There is no shame in losing to them.”
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NCSSM topped Carrboro in last year’s state semifinals, too, on its way to a sixth straight appearance in the state championship match. The Unicorns won 1A championships in 2009 and 2010. Making their first foray into the 2A ranks in 2013, they lost to six-time champion Salisbury.
Ninth-grader Jessie llle provided Carrboro with its lone win Thursday, completing a 6-0, 6-4 win over previously undefeated NCSSM senior Annie Xu.
The match was finished Thursday after play was halted Wednesday because of rain. NCSSM had two singles wins in hand and was leading in two others when play was suspended.
All of (13-0) NCSSM’s other top six singles players carried undefeated records into Saturday’s 2A final against Lake Norman Charter(16-0) in a match played at Burlington Tennis Center.
See www.newsobserver.com for results of all four state championship tennis finals.
“It’s a great accomplishment to get back to the finals every year, but it’s not easy,” N.C. Science & Math tennis coach Richard Johnson said.
“The road to the championship always goes through Carrboro every season. They always have a tough team. They are always well prepared. This is always a tough match.”