Undefeated conference champion Cardinal Gibbons and East Chapel Hill each saw six players qualify for the upcoming NCHSAA regionals with their performances at Wednesday’s PAC-6 Conference girls tennis tournament.
Six was the maximum number that could advance from one team to the 4A Midwest Regionals that will be played Oct. 21-22 at Greensboro’s Grimsley High School.
With their places in the regionals already assured by virtue of their regular season finishes, East Chapel Hill’s undefeated Samantha Bright (12-0) and Cardinal Gibbons’ top doubles team of Lizzy Galush and Jenna Knors (9-2) sat out the tournament.
“It was definitely a successful day for us,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Andrew Tuttle said.
East Chapel Hill’s Victoria Jones won Wednesday’s singles title with a 6-1, 6-1 sweep of previously unbeaten Karly Fitzgerald of Cardinal Gibbons.
Jones, a junior who played at No. 2 singles most of the season behind Bright, will carry a 13-2 record into the NCHSAA tournament. A sophomore who played most of her matches at No. 5 for the Crusaders, Fitzgerald was 16-1 after her loss Wednesday.
Cardinal Gibbons senior Kate Freed also qualified for the NCHSAA singles by reaching Wednesday’s semifinals, where she lost to Jones. Janae Andrews of Riverside was the league’s other qualifier in singles after she made it to the semifinals before losing 6-1, 6-0 to Fitzgerald.
The Cardinal Gibbons duo of Caroline Igo and Karen Galush stayed undefeated (12-0) and won Wednesday’s doubles final by rallying from a first-set loss to win 3-6, 6-2, 10-5 against Riverside’s Lauren Laughton and Sophie Bishoff.
“When you lose that first set, you like to see your team not give up,” Tuttle said. “It was a big win for them.”
East Chapel Hill also qualified two doubles teams, which both reached the semifinals. Wildcats Ellie Kim and Gabby Dimonte went to a third-set tiebreaker before losing 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 to Laughton and Bishoff, while East’s Isabel Green and Sarah McClanahan lost in straight sets to Igo and Galush, 6-1, 6-4.
Riverside had three qualifiers: Andrews in singles and the Laughton-Bishoff duo in doubles.