In a rematch of last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A girls tennis title, Union Pines fell 5-0 to Marvin Ridge (16-0). The Vikings (21-2) made quite the run to get the title match as a 5-seed, winning three times on the road in four prior rounds. Union Pines had tied for first in the Cape Fear Valley Conference but lost a coin flip for the first seed with Terry Sanford.
“We’ve had a great time, we’ve had a terrific season. Our girls were not expected to be here at all,” coach John Frye said. “Our improvement just kind of snowballed as the season went along, we jsut kept hitting it bigger and better all the time. It’s great for us to reach this point.”
In singles, No. 1 Hailee Haymore lost to Ella Imhof 6-2, 6-1, No. 2 Julianne Hall lost to Rachel Zubrinsky 6-2, 6-2, No. 4 Abbey Downing to Sophie Imhof 6-0, 6-1, No. 5 Charlotte Craven to Rebecca Mastrangelo 2-6, 6-0 (10-7) and No. 6 Hailee Trudeau to Hannah Scott 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 Sarah Nicholson had her match with Ainsley Zubrinsky stopped after the Mavericks clinched.
Craven made a gutsy effort just to be on the court after two trips to the emergency room during the week.
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“She’s had some pain ... but the doctors have never really identified what was wrong,” Frye said. “The pain had subsided and she’s a real fighter.”
Union Pines will graduate four players from this year’s group, which had an emotional end of the season. With just a few weeks left in the regular season, assistant coach Chuck Frye (no relation) passed away unexpectedly.
“He was a dear, dear friend and just a super assistant,” head coach Frye said. “We really miss him.”