Prep Tennis Playoffs: Salisbury 8, Brevard 1
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — Be it regular season or playoffs, worthy opponents continue to come to Salisbury hungry for an upset and leave with indigestion.
Brevard, who showed up at 500 Lincolnton Road at 2:30 p.m. for a 4 p.m. match, was eager for a another shot at the Hornets after falling to them earlier in the year. The Blue Devils’ urgency was commendable, yet resulted in the same fate as nearly all of Salisbury’s foes.
Salisbury defeated Brevard by the same 8-1 final Tuesday that it did two months ago at Brevard. The Hornets advanced to the third round of the dual team playoffs where it will play host to Bunker Hill on Monday. The Hornets are on a quest for their fourth-straight state title.
Salisbury won singles matches 2 through 6 and swept doubles play, exactly like its match on Aug. 18.
Brevard’s only two losses came to Salisbury as its season ended 16-2.
“They’re strong all the way down the lineup,” Brevard coach Lynda Camenzind said. “Their 4, 5, and 6 are strong. Usually you see players like that at 1, 2 and 3.”
Salisbury exuded its usual quiet confidence, even when they trailed in four of the six singles matches early.
“I can’t say that I’m surprised by that,” Salisbury coach Chris Myers said. “They’ve responded to every challenge that’s been presented to them.”
A day after helping the girls golf team to a 1A-2A central region championship, No. 4 Madeline Hoskins survived a 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 duel with Allie Williams.
“When I saw Katelyn [Storey] go into her tiebreaker, it kind of motivated me to keep pushing and pull it out,” Hoskins said.
Storey beat Taylor Snowden 3-6, 6-1, 10-8. Erika Nelson was a 6-1, 6-1 winner against Emma McLeod at No. 3.
“I felt like this was one of my best matches,” Nelson said. “They definitely hit harder at this stage and are more consistent.
State individual qualifier Hunter Hall defeated Joy Loeblein 6-3, 6-2 for Brevard’s lone victory at No. 1 singles.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match and she came through and played good tennis,” Loeblein said.
Salisbury’s Sallie Kate Meyerhoeffer topped Anna Fuller 6-0, 6-1 and Alexandra Drye beat Leah Johnson 6-3, 6-1.
“They hadn’t lost since us,” Myers said. “We expected that they would make us hit a lot more balls this time around and that’s exactly what they did.”
Salisbury (17-1) got doubles wins from the tandems of Loeblein/Nelson (10-4), Storey/Hoskins (10-7) and Meyerhoeffer/Drye (10-2).
“This does a great job of preparing us for the final week,” Myers said.
NOTES: The first round of the state golf championship coincides with the third round of the tennis playoffs next Monday leaving Hoskins with a conflict. She says Myers will allowing her to play golf and Caroline Graham will fill in for her on the court. “I feel bad because I’ll be letting my tennis teammates down,” Hoskins said. “But it’s a big year for golf because we have a pretty good chance of going all the way.” … The Hornets will send six to the state individual championships this Friday and Saturday in Cary including Storey and Hoskins in singles play. Storey will face Hall from Brevard and Hoskins takes on Shelby’s Hilary Lutz. In doubles, Meyerhoeffer/Drye and Loeblein/Nelson team up. It’s Drye’s first time qualifying.