Sanderson High won three third set tie-breakers in singles Tuesday to upend traditional power Broughton 5-4 in Cap Eight 4A girls tennis.
Pin Jattavapornva, Sofia Anthony and Dylan Cannon won tie-breakers at Nos. 1, 3 and 4 and Kate Griffin won in straight sets at No. 5 for a 4-2 lead after singles. Sanderson won the match when Grace Smith and Griffin took an 8-2 victory at No. 3 singles.
“It was a tremendous match,” said Sanderson coach Joe Mesiano. “The match between Pin and Kara (Summerford) at No. 1 was incredible. It was like watching a couple of pros. I had some fans say they didn’t need to watch the U.S. Open, because they wouldn’t see anything better.
“It was one of the most intense matches I’ve ever seen.”
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The other singles matches had been completed so the players knew the outcome would give Sanderson a lead heading to doubles or the match would be tied 3-3.
Jattavapornva, a junior who transferred from Thailand, dropped the first set to Summerford 6-4, but won the second set 6-4. Jattavapornva won the tie-breaker 10-7.
Anthony, a sophomore, lost her first set to Alison Austin 7-6, but won the second set 6-4 and the tie-breaker 10-7.
Cannon, a freshman, lost 6-2 in the first, won 6-3 in the second and took the tie-breaker 10-3.
“The tie-breakers were the key to the match and gave us a 4-2 lead, but we still had to win one of the doubles,” Mesiano said. “That wasn’t a given. Broughton is still Broughton.”
Smith, a senior, and Griffin, a junior, ended the suspense and clinched win with their victory at No. 3 doubles.
“People will say that we beat Broughton and that we should roll through the Cap Eight, but if they think that they don’t know the league,” Mesiano said. “Wakefield and Millbrook are outstanding. We could get beat next week if we don’t play our best.
“Even this time, if we had lost all three of the tie-breakers we lose 7-2. The matches will be tough.”
Broughton has won seven N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team girls tennis titles in the last 13 years. The Caps were 20-0 in 2013 when they lost to eventual state champion Panther Creek, 5-3, in the third round of the dual-team playoffs.