Salisbury tennis rolling
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — The Salisbury’s girls tennis team’s quest for a fifth consecutive state championship doesn’t include weekends off.
The Hornets are 17-2 after a first-round playoff win against CCC foe Central Davidson and have their most challenging tasks in the coming weeks. They’re the only team to send their entire squad to the individual championships this weekend in Cary. If they make the state 2A championship match, that will come next Saturday against the best team in the east.
In addition to the dual team playoffs, the Hornets had six players qualify for the individual championships for the third-straight year in a season where their conference winning streak reached 122 matches.
Katelyn Storey and Anna Flynn defeated teammates Sallie Kate Meyerhoeffer and Alexandra Drye 6-3, 7-6 (5) in doubles play of the 2A Midwest region final last week at Catawba. Storey and Flynn were second/third in the region in singles play. Madeline Hoskins was runner-up to Cuthbertson’s Kalli Karas.
“Everybody’s starting to gel and that’s what you want this time of year,” Salisbury coach Chris Myers said.
The regular season has included wins against Charlotte Catholic, Mt. Airy and Lake Norman.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot better over the course of the year,” Flynn said.
Thursday, Salisbury will head to Cary for the indvidual championships to be played on Friday and Saturday. This will come after today’s second-round playoff match at Maiden.
In doubles play this weekend, Storey/Flynn will face Savannah Pierson/Abigail Grady of East Duplin in the first round of the individual championship. Last year, Salisbury’s Erika Nelson and Joy Loblein won the doubles title.
“We didn’t put Anna and Katelyn together until about midway through the season,” Myers said. “They’ve been exceptional.”
Meyerhoeffer/Drye have Kayla Radford/Lori Sutton of Greene Central in the first round.
In singles, Madeline Hoskins faces Kate Power (First Flight) and Kayla Honeycutt takes on Morgan Sheehan (Swansboro).
Brevard has five qualifiers for the state individuals. If Salisbury and Brevard win their next two matches, they would face off in the west region final.
Karas is a three-time state champion and could see Salisbury in the third round of the dual team playoffs.
“I’m excited and nervous,” Storey said. “We’ve both worked hard and this — along with a state championship — would be the ultimate reward.”
“We’ve come out and had some really good practices,” Honeycutt said.