Prep tennis: Salisbury 9, Central Davidson 0
By Bret Strelow
Another 9-0 win pushed Salisbury’s streak to 90.
The Hornets shut out Central Davidson in a meeting of the CCC’s top two girls tennis teams Monday.Hannah Lebowitz, Joy Loeblein, Erika Nelson, Katelyn Storey, Anna Page and Sierra Davis contributed for Salisbury, which has captured 221 of 223 conference matches during a dominant stretch dating back to 1989.
The Hornets have gone 90-0 in CCC play since Lexington completed a sweep of them late in the 2002 season.
“That’s a testament to the quality of kids we’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years,” Salisbury coach Chris Myers said.
Salisbury (14-0, 6-0) dropped 11 games in 12 singles sets against the second-place Spartans (5-6, 3-2) and earned a 9-0 victory for the 13th time this season. Lake Norman fell 5-1 in a non-conference showdown.
The Hornets, who lost three senior starters from the 2008 state championship team, have gone 83-1 in singles and 39-0 in doubles this season.
“Obviously, 14-0 heading into the final few weeks of the regular season speaks well for the future and October and November,” Myers said. “Doubles is and will continue to be a work in progress. With leadership from our seniors and the potential of some of these younger girls, we’re very excited about what the postseason hopefully will hold for us.”
Lebowitz improved to 12-1 this season and 86-5 for her career with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Sarah Bowers at No. 1.
Loeblein won 6-0, 6-0 against Haley Hanes, Central Davidson’s No. 2 seed, and Nelson claimed a 6-1, 6-1 decision against Lydian Beck.
Storey (6-0, 6-1 against fourth-seeded Erin Wilson) and Davis (6-2, 6-0 over sixth-seeded McKensie Wall) recorded unblemished sets in their matches, and Page capped singles play with a 6-3, 6-1 win against fifth-seeded Amber Baldwin.
Loeblein didn’t lose a game after needing 21/2 hours to pull out a 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 victory against Hanes on Sept. 9.
“All day I prepared myself for it,” Loeblein said. “I just had in my head that I had to come out and play solid and attack balls.
“She’s a very consistent player, and I just had to stay one step ahead of her.”
Lebowitz, Loeblein and Nelson are returning starters from the title team, and Salisbury’s standard doubles lineup has each of those three players matched up with a newcomer to the top six.
Lebowitz-Page won 8-1 against Bowers-Wilson at No. 1, and Loeblein-Davis prevailed 8-4 against Baldwin-Wall at No. 3. Nelson-Storey improved to 13-0 on the season with an 8-3 victory against Hanes-Beck at No. 2.
“With the new paired up with starters from last year, it gives us a chance, if we’re having an off day, sometimes we can rely on them to be a little more consistent,” Davis said. “If we’re having a good day, we can dominate.”