Carrboro, East win conference tennis titles

ewarnock@newsobserver.comOctober 7, 2013 


East Chapel Hill High tennis coach Lindsay Linker, left, quietly advises her No. 1 girls’ tennis player, junior Caroline Pope, during a break in a match.


East Chapel Hill and Carrboro both wrapped up conference titles last week in girls’ tennis.

The Wildcats won their ninth Piedmont Athletics Conference championship last week with a 9-0 sweep of Jordan. The Wildcats didn’t drop a set as they improved to 17-5 overall and 10-0 in PAC-6 matches.

Carrboro, which tied Cedar Ridge for last year’s Carolina-12 title, captured the Mid-State championship in the Jaguars’ first year back in the 2A league where it started as a varsity program. The Jaguars completed the regular season at 13-0 by beating Chapel Hill 5-4 in the non-conference match Thursday.

“We had a couple of close matches with Jordan-Matthews, but overall the girls did exceptionally well this season,” Carrboro coach Jon Noyes said.

Carrboro reached the state semifinals of last year’s NCHSAA dual-team tournament before losing to perennial power Greene Central, and this year’s undefeated Jaguars hope to make it to the championship match. “At least that’s the plan,” Noyes said.

The Jaguars’ success belies their ages. Noyes doesn’t have a senior among the top six singles players.

Undefeated No.1 player Danielle Sawyer, as well as No. 2 Olivia Shaheen, No. 5 Allison Hutchinson and No. 6 Jordan Owen are all juniors. Abbie Rader at No. 3 is a sophomore and Emine Arcasoy at 4 is a ninth-grader.

Another title for East

East’s Wildcats have won the girls’ PAC-6 tennis title every year since moving to the 4A conference in 2005.

Last Thursday against Jordan (9-8, 8-2), Caroline Pope, Brooke Pritchard, Rainie Heck, Meghana Holegadde, Iskra Joksimovi and Jocelyn Reckford all won their singles matches. Pope, Holegadde and Reckford all won 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles, the East teams of Heck-Pritchard, Pope-Mackenzie Bright and Holegadde-Kiri Schulz won while yielding just four games total to their opponents from Jordan.

“I’m really pleased with the way these girls have persevered and improved so far this season,” had coach Lindsey Linker said. “The fact that we did not have a full lineup until two weeks ago, and were still able to compete the way we did, is a testimony to the kind of depth this team has shown.”

East’s No. 1 singles player, junior Caroline Pope, missed some matches due to a back injury. The week Pope returned to action, No. 3 player Rainie Heck hurt an ankle. But Linker was able to re-arrange her lineup on multiple occasions, sometimes substituting players 7-12 for the entire 1-6 lineup.

“On a given day, any of the 12 girls could step in and compete successfully,” Linker said.

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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