They say revenge is best when served cold, but Courtney Williamson and Lindsey Batten only had one week to make amends to win a state girls tennis title.
The Chatham Central tandem turned the tables to claim the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A doubles title in a tiebreaker 6-3, 7-6 (10-5) Saturday morning at the Cary Tennis Park.
A week ago Williamson and Batten lost a tiebreaker in the NCHSAA 1A West regional final to their Elkin opponents, Mattie Timmerman and Bianka Soos.
“Oh, gosh; oh, no,” said Williamson, covering her mouth when approached for an interview. “I don’t know what to say. I’m shocked. We lost to them in a close match last time.”
The title also completed unfinished work from a year ago when Williamson and Batten were eliminated in the semifinals.
Williamson, a senior, and Batten, a junior, finished 2016 with a 24-2 record. They said the difference between the state and regional finals was they remained focused after winning the first set. They dropped the second set, but they regained their focus in the tiebreaker.
They also won first set in the regional final before allowing Timmerman and Soos to take the second set and tiebreaker.
“We made too many errors last time,” Williamson said. “This time we stayed hyped and not happy.”
That was their rally cry all week. By that, Batten said they didn’t celebrate too early.
“We didn’t get ahead of ourselves about winning the first set,” Batten said. “We knew we had to stay focused this time.”
Williamson said they also adjusted their strategy from the regional final when they played one up and one back. This time they both played back.
“We tried to keep it away from the front person,” she said of play at the net.
Community School of Davidson’s Marisa Deininger won the 1A singles title. She defeated Lincoln Charter’s Emerson Chrichton, 6-1, 6-2.
2A tournament: In 2A, Jordan-Matthews’ Sarah Morse and Marshall Phillips lost in the semifinals 6-1, 6-1 to eventual champions Zoe Huffman and Toni Laney of Maiden.
Huffman and Laney defeated Lake Norman Charter’s Lauren Bush and Lauren Loveless, 6-2, 6-0 in the title. In singles, Lake Norman’s Olivia Archer defeated teammate Zoe Panizza, 6-0, 6-0.
BURLINGTON Union Pines couldn’t quite claim back-to-back 3A doubles championships at the Burlington Tennis Center.
Sarah Nicholson and Hailee Haymore fell 6-2, 6-2 to Kings Mountain’s Natalie Lutz and Madelynn Frye in the final. Haymore won the doubles title with now-graduated Mary Beth Jackson last season.
“Even though we lost, I feel like we played a good match,” said Nicholson. “It was just amazing to make it to the finals at all. This is the first time at states for me, so, overall, I can’t complain.”
Haymore showed frustration in the second match. After several unforced errors by the Vikings, they quickly saw their draw turn into a defeat.
“I think it was because I wanted to win so bad. I was focusing more on the outcome than the process, so it was frustrating me,” said Haymore. “Their game wasn’t frustrating me; I was frustrating myself.”
She continued: “Our focus wasn’t as good as it was. I let Sarah down because I was letting my mind get over my game and actually playing and having fun.”
In singles, Hunt’s Taylor Love fell to two-time champion Adrienne Haynes, 3-6, 2-6, in the semifinals. It was Love’s first loss of the season.
“I think overall she played well. We’re proud of her,” Love’s coach Wayne Hardy said. “They know each other very well. Adrienne played a really good match. Taylor had a couple times where she could have won but just didn’t happen.”
In an epic first set which lasted an hour and 40 minutes, Haynes was able to gain an edge over Love, who eventually lost on an unforced serving mistake.
“(Taylor’s) in really good shape. It wasn’t fatigue; it was more of the pressure that she put on herself,” said Hardy of his player’s first set. “She didn’t relax when it came down to points. As the match continued on, it multiplied the pressure on herself.”