Regional tennis: Lebowitz wins another regional title
By Bret Strelow
Salisbury senior Hannah Lebowitz capped a perfect run with another convincing win.
Lebowitz became a four-time 2A Midwest Regional champion with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against North Stanly’s Hannah Herlocker on Monday at City Park.
Lebowitz also won regional singles titles as a freshman and sophomore. She was part of a regional and state championship doubles team with Kirstin Meyerhoeffer last year.
“All of them have felt awesome,” Lebowitz said. “It’s not an easy tournament, and I have to go in fighting hard for every match. I’ve felt great after every time.”
Lebowitz prevailed 6-0, 6-1 against Surry Central’s Tara Dockery in one semifinal, and Herlocker claimed a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Salisbury’s Joy Loeblein. Loeblein won the third-place match 6-4, 6-1.Lebowitz dropped the opening game against Herlocker, a senior who reached the regional singles final for the fourth time.
Lebowitz won 6-4, 6-3 in 2006 and 6-1, 6-1 in 2007.
“I think this last match was probably one of the best matches that I’ve played certainly in a while,” Lebowitz said. “There’s a lot of pressure, so it feels good. It felt good to play Hannah again because she’s a great player.”
Loeblein’s victory Monday allows her to avoid facing a regional champion in the first round of this weekend’s state tournament. She will play East Regional runner-up Elizabeth Leary of Edenton Holmes on Friday.
Loeblein rolled after surviving a long first set with Dockery.
“For me, that really boosted me up,” Loeblein said. “I’m halfway there and can get to the end.”
Loeblein, who lost to Lebowitz in the CCC singles final, is 22-2 this season.
Lebowitz improved to 22-1 this year and 96-5 for her career. She’s the No. 1 seed on a top-ranked and unbeaten Salisbury team that will play host to West Stanly (11-1) in a second-round playoff match scheduled for today.
“It’s been a great run, and we’re certainly looking forward to the next week and a half,” Salisbury coach Chris Myers said. “We don’t want to see her go. She’s set a wonderful example for all the girls over the last four years.
“It’s very rewarding to see her go out as a senior and win her fourth straight regional championship.”
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