Local netters close strong in regular season

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ridgecroft School extended its winning match streak to four last week as the Lady Rams tennis squad topped Lawrence Academy 5-1 to complete a season-sweep of the Lady Warriors.

The matches were played at the Queen Street Courts in Windsor, and following the Rams taking two-of-three in doubles, the singles matches were interrupted by a thunderstorm. Ridgecroft had won three singles matches, thus giving them a winning total of 5-1.

“The match had been decided,” said Rams coach Elton Winslow. “When the thunderstorm arrived we decided not to finish the other three.”

The win raised Ridgecroft’s record to 11-4 and they will end the regular season today (Tuesday) in Jackson at the Northampton Wellness Center against Northeast Academy.

Lawrence Academy’s Hailey Hope Gardner makes a return in last week’s final week of matches. The Lady Warriors topped Northeast Academy, but fell to Ridgecroft, as all three schools qualified for the NCISAA state tennis playoffs. | 2nd Chance Productions / Andre Alfred

Speaking of the Eagles, Northeast fell to Lawrence as Carly Stephenson and Emalee Jones teamed to claim NEA’s only doubles win. Stephenson and Jessie Martin also won their singles matches. Hailey Hope Gardner, Savannah Stevens, Beatrice Mordecai, and Isabella Spruill were singles winners for LAW, who also captured the exhibition match. Stevens/Gardner and Mordecai/Spruill were doubles winners to give Lawrence the match, 6-3.

Earlier, Northeast edged Faith Christian in a match that had been interrupted by weather last month. That win preceded the regular match, also won by Northeast, and probably propelled the Lady Eagles into the independent schools’ tennis playoffs.

In the suspended match Northeast took two-of-three doubles matches from the Patriots early on, and then split 3-3 in the singles showing to capture the match, 5-4. It was Stephenson, Martin, and Hannah Drewette coming through with wins.

Stephenson, Martin, and Drewette were joined by Jones as singles winners in the regular scheduled match before Mia Owen and Hannah Dixon helped Faith avoid a doubles sweep with their win on the hard-court, for a 6-3, Northeast, final. The Eagles finish the regular season hosting Ridgecroft.

Including the Northeast win, Lawrence strung together three more wins over the week-and-a-half and head into the NCISAA tennis playoffs as a four-seed, with Ridgecroft seeded number-three. Northeast is seeded sixth.

The Rams will host Northeast this week in the quarter-finals in Murfreesboro at the Rose Tennis Complex on Saturday, Oct. 21, with the NCISAA finals set for Salem Academy in Winston-Salem on Oct. 28.