The Broughton girls tennis team notched its second 5-4 victory of the season over Cap-8 Conference rival Enloe on the Eagles’ home court on Thursday afternoon.
The match played out just like the first meeting, with the squads splitting the singles matches 3-3 and the Capitals winning the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles.
Broughton exited at 9-4 overall, 8-4 in the Cap-8. Enloe dropped to 7-6, 6-6.
Capitals coach Laura Davidson was happy with the way her team showed poise in another tight victory over the Eagles.
“The team really fought today,” she said. “We were calm and resilient in points and matches that we really needed to be.”
The biggest gut-check came in the deciding No. 1 doubles match.
The Caps’ duo of sophomores Becket Waters and Meg Hardesty fell behind early 2-1 to Enloe’s team of junior Nija Price and sophomore Catherine Battle.
They took the lead at 3-2 with the first of six broken serves in the match, and held advantages at 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5 before the Eagles took a 7-6 edge on a nice forehand winner by Price.
However, a break at 7-all gave Broughton the lead, and Hardesty served out for the 9-7 match clincher.
Hardesty had the toughest of the three singles wins for the Caps. She won a first-set tiebreaker 7-6(3) before claiming the second set 6-4. No. 2 Waters cruised 6-3, 6-1 and No. 5 junior Elizabeth Bell won 6-1, 6-1.
The Eagles, led by longtime Caps head coach Stephen Spivey, got a hard-fought victory at No. 1 singles by junior Nija Price 7-5, 6-4 and a win by No. 4 freshman Shriya Komaragiri 6-3, 6-2.
At No. 6, freshman Kenna Rodgers won 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 to make doubles very interesting.
Spivey said his team has lost five 5-4 matches this season and is very close to turning a corner as a program.
“We don’t graduate any of our starters,” he said. “And we’re so close in so many matches. The biggest thing we need to work on is our volleying at the net. A point here or there today, and we may have won. The same in other matches. And a lot of those are our volleys.”
He continued: “We work on it every day in practice, but hitting them in practice and hitting them in a match are two totally separate things.”
OUT OF BOUNDS
Noise. Noise. Noise. There certainly was a lot of it.
First, the Enloe junior varsity football team caused two delays in the No. 1 singles match between Price and senior Hunter Cox. Even drawing a bit of a stare down from both players at different times.
“Definitely a distraction,” said Price. “But you don’t really think about it. I just sing a little song in my head.”
A wood chipper then provided background noise for the last two singles matches on courts 3 and 6, won by the Capitals and Eagles, respectively.
“You notice it a little,” Hardesty said. “But you have to block it out. Once I did, I was good.”
BY THE NUMBERS
0: Number of victories by Enloe over Broughton in “At least 35 years,” according to Spivey, who coached the Caps for 29 years before the last two at Enloe.
8: Losses by the Eagles and Caps combined to Cap-8 leaders Sanderson and Leesville Road. Broughton has no other defeats, while Enloe has two to the Caps.
10: Singles victories for Broughton’s Bell, who improved to 10-3.