High school tennis: West wins battle for first place

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

Staff report

STATESVILLE — West Rowan’s girls tennis team won a four-hour match against South Iredell on Wednesday, 5-4, finishing under the lights at Statesville’s Caldwell Park.

The win put the Falcons (11-0, 5-0) in first place in the North Piedmont Conference. South Iredell is 8-4 overall and 4-1 in the league.

The teams were scheduled to play last week, but the match was postponed by weather.

Payton Holt won at No. 1 singles for the Falcons. Freshman Lacy Waggoner won at No. 3 singles.

Mira White won a pivotal match at No. 5, coming back after losing the first set in a tiebreaker.

“It was a long night of playing from behind,” West coach John Brown said. “At the start, everyone except Payton was losing.”

West won two of the three doubles matches to prevail, with Holt/Waggoner winning at No. 1 doubles and White/Skylar Jahnke rallying from a 1-3 deficit to win 8-3 at No. 3.

“We knew it was going to be tough to win at No. 2 doubles,” Brown said. “So we really needed to get the split in singles. White’s win was very big.”

Holt, co-player of the year in Rowan the last two seasons, and White are 11-0  in singles this year. Jahnke (10-1)  lost for the first time in singles on Wednesday at No. 4. West’s No. 2 player Madison Smith is 8-3. Waggoner is 10-1.

West plays again today at home against Carson. The Falcons won at Carson, 6-3, on Aug. 30, but this figures to be another tough match in a competitive league.

“We played North Iredell Tuesday (West won 7-2) in a long match, and North Iredell is nothing to scoff at,” Brown said. “Now we’ve got Carson, so we’re playing three of our toughest matches of the season in three days. It’s a hard stretch.”

Singles

1. Payton Holt (WR) d. Emily Mattei 6-2, 6-2

2. Niyati Kanadekar (SI) d. Madison Smith 6-0, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4)

3. Lacy Waggoner (WR) d. Faith Hettinger  7-6 (7-0), 6-0

4. Kaitlyn Crabb (SI) d. Skylar Jahnke 6-4, 6-3

5.  White (WR) d. Sruthi Mannepalli 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 1-0 (10-8)

6. Sydney Sawyer (SI) d. Gracie Wise 6-0, 6-1

Holt’Waggoner won No. 1 doubles. Jahnke/White won No. 3 doubles.

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