PEMBROKE — One match into the season and the Lady Scots tennis team is undefeated.
After the solar eclipse forced their match with Jack Britt to be cancelled, the Lady Scots headed to Pembroke to take on Purnell Swett in Sandhills Athletic Conference action.
The young Lady Scots walked off the court with a 6-2 victory, both teams agreed not to play a third doubles match due to the heat.
Assuming the leadership role for the Lady Scots this season is senior Cheyanne Strong, who played first singles, and was selected as the team captain. Strong played fifth doubles last season, but with the graduation of the top four singles players, Strong stepped up to the net and is taking on the challenge.
Fellow senior Kathryn Goodwin, a cross country runner, slid into the second singles slot followed by sophomore Samantha Bowen at third singles. Liza McIntyre, whose older sister Grace played doubles for the Lady Scots last season, will play fourth singles. Senior Karrigan Campbell, who played doubles with McIntyre last season in exhibition, is playing fifth singles and tennis newcomer senior Justice McCrimmon is assuming the role of sixth singles.
The other four members of the Lady Scots tennis roster include sophomore Denisha Hill and juniors Courtney Carter, Terrie Douglas and D’averia Johnson.
Playing double duty this season will be Strong and Bowen at first doubles and Goodwin and McIntyre at second doubles. The third doubles team is still up in the air.
“The team played well in their first conference match of the season,” said head coach Atondra Ellis. “The two doubles teams played well together. Initial chemistry very good. Pleased with the team mix. We have some brand new players to the sport who want to play and willing to learn. Everyone got playing time tonight and the experience was invaluable.”
Strong earned the Lady Scots their first match win in two sets, 6-3, 6-2 against Purnell’s Abi Lowry, a returning starter from last season. In total, Purnell returned five starters while the Lady Scots only returned two — Strong and Bowen.
The longest match of the evening was played on the second singles court between Goodwin and Purnell Swett’s McKenzie Cummings. It took two tiebreakers and a five-minute break to refill their water bottles for the two girls to finish their match.
Cummings strong serve gave Goodwin trouble in the first set falling in a 2-7 tiebreaker after knotting the match, 6-7. Goodwin regrouped winning the second set 6-0 before finishing in strong fashion, 7-2.
The third singles match between Bowen and Purnell’s Malina Cummings got a little heated in the second set when Bowen hit a cross-court shot over Cummings head that landed on the line. Cummings called the ball out, but Bowen believed it was in.
High school tennis does not have officials, it is based on an honor system. If two players can’t agree on if a ball was in or out they can ask a coach to come monitor the match and be the tiebreaker for any other close calls.
A coach wasn’t needed for Bowen and Cummings match, as Bowen regained her composure and handed Cummings a two-set defeat, 6-2, 6-2.
On court four, McIntyre took on Purnell’s Elysha Strickland and struggled in the first set before narrowly coming back, 7-5. McIntyre’s confidence rose in her second set and she bested Strickland, 6-2 to continue the Lady Scots sweep of the singles matches.
Campbell and McCrimmon didn’t fare as well in their first singles matches. Campbell fell to Purnell’s Harlie Scott in two set, 2-6, 1-6. McCrimmon fell in two sets as well to Purnell’s Tierra Locklear, 0-6, 2-6.
The Lady Scots doubles teams bounced back with two wins as Strong and Bowen downed Lowry and Cummings, 8-3. Goodwin and McIntyre required a tiebreaker to win their match against Cummings and Cummings, 9-8 (7-2).
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.