Published: Oct 06, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Oct 05, 2012 01:31 PM
Beating Jordan 6-3 last week in girls’ tennis didn’t do anything to improve Chapel Hill’s seeding in the upcoming NCHSAA tournament, but it did wonders for the Tigers’ confidence.
“This is a great result for us,” Chapel Hill coach Neil Alderman said, watching the doubles get underway at Jordan’s tennis facility. “Jordan is a quality program, a big 4A school, and they’re going to finish second in their conference behind East Chapel Hill. This is a good win.”
Chapel Hill, 8-5 overall, is solidly in second place of the Carolina 3A Conference with a 5-1 record.
The Tigers have been ranked several week’s at No. 8 in the statewide 3A classification by the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association; Carolina 3A Conference leader Cardinal Gibbons, the defending state champions, are at No. 2 statewide.
The Tigers plan on making the state dual-team playoffs, and to that end have been playing a brutal schedule to toughen themselves. They’ve faced three of the N.C. 3A’s top five teams — No. 1 Raleigh Broughton, No. 4 East Chapel Hill and No. 5 Green Hope — as well as Gibbons. They lost each one of those, but will be better off for the experience, Alderman said.
“We went out in the first round last year,” Alderman noted. “We had a better overall record, but I don’t think we were as tough as we are this year. We should have a better chance of progressing this year.”
The Tigers also are healthier now than they’ve been at any previous point this season. Danielle Cohen missed almost a month with a pulled hamstring; Kelsey O’Regan suffered a wrist injury; Ria Das had a long bout with influenza; Morgan Alderman, the coach’s daughter, suffered with tendonitis.
“Three of our top six have been injured at some point,” Neil Alderman said. “Finally, in just the last week-and-a-half, we’ve got everybody back healthy and playing.”
Chapel Hill almost had the win last Tuesday at Jordan (9-7 overall, 7-2 PAC) decided in singles. Cohen, Nicole Chang, Caroline Werk and Das all won in straight sets; O’Regan fought back from a first set loss against Jenny Shaw to force a third-set tiebreaker before falling in split sets.
O’Regan’s singles match went so long, she and Werk didn’t get their doubles match started until Cohen and Chang had already clinched the team match with their 8-2 victory over Hope Allen and Meg Raviele at No. 1 doubles. O’Regan and Werk won at No. 2.East Chapel Hill ends regular seasonCHAPEL HILL
Ranked No. 5 in the state, East Chapel Hill hosted No. 3 Panther Creek in a non-conference match Wednesday to end the regular season.
East’s Brittany Hill, Meghana Holegadde and Julia Gan won their singles in straight sets, but Panther Creek then won the top two doubles matches to eke out a 5-4 win. Rainie Heck and Kiri Schulz won at No. 3 doubles, 8-3.
East was scheduled to play Middle Creek last Friday, but the Mustangs had to cancel to make up a Tri-Nine Conference match.
East Chapel Hill ended its regular season at 17-2 overall and 12-0 in conference matches. The Wildcats will host the PAC-6 tournament Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m.