Nelson reaches state finals

Published 2:25 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

MERRY HILL – A seventh-grader gave Lawrence Academy their season highlight in tennis.

Bailey Nelson earned a trip to the state finals in the fifth-seeded singles competition in her first season competing in the top six for the Lady Warriors.

“I started the season pretty slow because I was out of shape, but I got better as the season went on,” Nelson said.

She headed into the state tournament against Lisa Peacock of Wayne Country Day School and rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 victory.

From there, Nelson topped the second-seed in her bracket, Kristin Marchese of Statesville Christian when the latter withdrew due to an injury.

In the third round, Nelson topped Blake Govan of Wayne Christian School 3-6, 6-2 and 10-5 to earn her place in the state championship match. There she lost to top-seeded Megan Gleespan of Greenfield School in a match that was played at 12:30 a.m.

“I was really nervous in the state tournament, but I thought we had a chance to do well,” Nelson said. “I was happy just to get to the state championship and to play against the girl from Greenfield.

“The tournament was fun,” she added. “The people I played against were all nice. You get better by playing better people.”

Nelson said she began playing tennis at eight years of age and has been with the sport ever since. She said her dad encouraged her to play one sport and stick to it and she chose tennis.

As she looks to next season, Nelson said her goal is to continue to improve.

“I’m looking forward to getting better and going back to the tournament next year,” she said. “I enjoy having fun with my team.”

The team is coached by Lisa Corbett, who said Nelson was her first player in the three years she has coached the Lady Warriors to reach the state title match.

“I’m proud of her and what she accomplished,” Corbett said. “She has great potential. The team had an excellent season overall and we’re looking forward to next year.”

In addition to Nelson’s singles victories, she also reached the second round of the state tournament in doubles while paired with her sister, McCaul. They fell to the Northeast Academy team of Taylor Cocke and Ashton Liverman in the second round.

Also reaching round two for the Lady Warriors were Hallie Corbett and Sarah Meggison, each in singles competition.