Tennis team gets landmark win

Published 10:02 am Thursday, September 1, 2016

Is this it? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for in regard to Davie girls tennis? Was Aug. 22, 2016 the ignition, the blast-off toward the first regular-season championship since 2007?

Coach John Bullins is not about to get carried away by results before the calender turns to September, but he was certainly feeling good following Davie’s 4-0 start, including a landmark victory over Reynolds.

The War Eagles are 4-0. They own an 11-match winning streak in nonconference play. They have a 10-match winning streak in the regular season. And they’ve won 12 of 14 in the Central Piedmont Conference.

Davie opened the season with a 7-2 nonconference blowout at North Iredell on Aug. 17.

Davie swept singles, getting wins from sophomore Laura Becker (6-0, 6-0), sophomore Sierra Foster (6-0, 6-0), senior Annie Kinder (2-6, 6-0, 10-8 tiebreaker), junior Aubree Privat (6-1, 6-1), sophomore Emery Rosenbaum (6-4, 6-2) and senior Claire Myers (6-1, 6-0). It was Kinder’s first Davie match since going 12-1 in 2014.

At No. 3 doubles, Myers and senior Shelby Nelson rolled 8-2.

Davie dominated without being at full strength. Sisters Jennifer and Amanda Ngo did not play as Jennifer visited a college.

Freshmen Aisulu Ball/Megan Cash (8-0) and sophomore Sydney Smith/senior Loren Myers (8-5) won in exhibition play.

Reynolds captured regular-season titles in the CPC in ‘14 and ‘15, but Davie took a big step toward dethroning the Demons with a 6-3 road decision on Aug. 22 in the CPC opener for Davie and the season opener for Reynolds.

In preseason, Bullins said: “If Payton Pesavento is with Reynolds again, they’ll be an extremely strong team. If she’s playing elsewhere, they’ll still be a strong team. I would definitely put them as the preseason No. 1 team.”

Pesavento is playing “elsewhere,” and Davie took full advantage, clinching the verdict in singles as Becker (6-2, 6-0), J. Ngo (6-2, 6-3), A. Ngo (6-1, 6-0), Kinder (6-4, 6-3) and C. Myers (6-1, 6-0) picked up wins.

At No. 1 doubles, Privat/Rosenbaum romped 8-1 as Davie defeated Reynolds for the first time since 2013. The Demons had won five straight and 14 of 16 matches over Davie.

“It was very exciting,” Bullins said. “The girls are real fired up about it. The conference season is still early and you’ve got to take them one at a time. It’s good to start off with a win in your first conference match. Against Reynolds, it makes it even better.”

The War Eagles did exactly what they were expected to do in the next two matches, winning 7-2 over visiting Reagan and 9-0 at Glenn.

In Davie’s home debut against Reagan on Aug. 23, the War Eagles again clinched victory in singles. Becker (6-0, 6-0), J. Ngo (6-3, 6-2), A. Ngo (6-1, 6-1), Kinder (6-1, 6-3) and C. Myers (6-0, 6-1) got wins.

Privat/Rosenbaum (8-6) and C. Myers/Nelson (8-4) added to the margin at Nos. 2-3 doubles, respectively.

The Ngo sisters, the reigning CPC doubles champions after going 10-2 overall in 2015, suffered a hard-luck 9-8 loss at No. 1 doubles in their first match together in ‘16. The score was 8-8 at the end of the set. In the tiebreaker, the Ngo sisters held a 4-2 lead when Amanda was hit by a cramp and could not continue.

“We just felt like not risking any further injury (to her leg) and stopping the match,” Bullins said. “Hopefully we’ll get her ready for West Forsyth (on Aug. 29).”

Reagan, which opened the season with a 5-4 win over Mt. Tabor, fell to 1-1. The win made Davie 2-0 in CPC play and extended its winning streak over the Raiders to five.

Juniors Grace Nixon and Moriah Lane won 8-1 in a doubles exhibition.

At Glenn on Aug. 24, Davie blanked the winless Bobcats 9-0 in nonconference.

Becker (6-0, 6-0), Foster (6-0, 6-0), J. Ngo (6-0, 6-0), Kinder (6-0, 6-0), Privat (6-0, 6-0) and Rosenbaum (6-2, 6-0) breezed in singles. Nixon/Lane (8-0), Nelson/L. Myers (8-5) and Ball/Cash (8-3) completed the shutout in doubles as Glenn sank to 0-4. At No. 3 doubles, it was the varsity debuts for freshmen Ball and Cash.

Smith won 6-1 in an exhibition.

“We stayed focussed, worked on different parts of their game and displayed good sportsmanship,” Bullins said.

Becker, who is 4-0 this year at No. 1 after going 19-5 as a top-seeded freshman, plays in 16-under ITF tournaments around the country. According to Babolat recruiting listings on, she is ranked fifth in the state, 41st in the Southeast and 165th nationally.

Kinder – who has played three, four and five – is also 4-0. J. Ngo and C. Myers are both 3-0 at three and six, respectively.