Davie tennis gets revenge

Published 10:30 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

At the conclusion of the Central Piedmont Conference Tournament, the running score between tennis rivals Davie and Reynolds moved in Davie’s favor: War Eagles 2, Demons 1.   

Davie eked out a 5-4 win over Reynolds on Sept. 20, thanks in part to Sierra Foster’s galvanizing win at No. 2 singles.

Reynolds handed Davie a galling 5-4 loss on Sept. 26, when Demons coach Johnny Highsmith threw Davie a curveball in doubles.

The War Eagles one-upped the Demons in the tournament at Reynolds on Oct. 10. They scored 33 points – Reynolds had 23 and Reagan was third with 10 – to capture the tourney for the third consecutive year. West Forsyth, East Forsyth and Glenn were in the bottom half.

“It was a long day, a warm day, but a great day,” Davie coach Collin Ferebee said.

War Eagles finished first in singles and doubles. In singles, it was business as usual for junior Laura Becker. After receiving a first-round bye, she put on a clinic with 10-0, 10-1 and 10-1 wins. She repeated as CPC champion in singles (she was runner-up as a freshman) and bumped her spotless record to 17-0.

Juniors Amanda Ngo and Foster became the doubles champions. After rolling 10-0 and 10-5 in the first two rounds, they pulled off a thrilling 10-8 win in the final by outlasting Reynolds’ No. 2 pair.

In the championship match, they found themselves in an 8-7 deficit. At win-or-lose time, Ngo/Foster staged a 3-0 run to take the crown.

“You know Sierra can’t do anything easy,” Ferebee said with a chuckle.

Ngo/Foster were not paired together until recently, so this triumph pushed their record to 5-0. Ngo’s season doubles record is 12-0, with seven of the wins coming as Becker’s partner. This is Ngo’s second doubles title. In 2015, Amanda and sister Jennifer Ngo teamed up to win the CPC.

“We’ve tried something new with them playing together,” Ferebee said. “They had only played against East Forsyth and Reagan. So they hadn’t seen this Reynolds team before because Amanda had been with Laura.”

The top five finishers earned regional berths. Senior Aubree Privat enjoyed a memorable moment by competing in the tournament for the first time in her career and walking off with fifth place and a ticket to the Midwest Regional.

“I thought she would win her first round, and I thought she could make some noise in the back draw,” Ferebee said. “I was very proud of her for how she played today.”

Privat steamrolled her first-round opponent 10-0. She was roughed up 10-3 in the quarterfinals. She rebounded with an 8-1 (retired) pounding of a Reagan girl who called it day early with a back injury.

In the do-or-die match for fifth against West Forsyth, Privat triumphed 10-6. She held a commanding 6-1 lead when things began to slip away. An injury was the reason.

“Aubree had a calf issue and had cramping going on,” Ferebee said.

Privat gutted it out, went 3-1 for the day and lifted her season record to 17-1.

“She fought through it,” he said. “You could tell she was in pain, but she didn’t let that stop her. She knew what was on the line.”

Seniors Moriah Lane/Grace Nixon were eliminated in the first round of doubles, 10-6.

More Revenge On Reynolds

Two days following the tournament, there was another cause for jubilation. Since Davie and Reynolds tied for the regular-season title, a playoff match was held at Reagan to determine the No. 1 seed for the state playoffs.

The rubber match at Reagan was a euphoric 5-2 win for Davie, which made up for the gut punch on Sept. 26.

“It’s exorcising the demons,” Ferebee said. “It was nice to get that win. I know they were happy to have it go our way.”

Becker romped 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Privat rolled 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4. Foster’s only loss all season was to Elizabeth Youssef in the first meeting. Foster won the rematch on in miraculous fashion. In the their rubber match, Foster won convincingly (6-3, 6-3).

“She figured out what (Youssef) wasn’t great at,” Ferebee said. “This time she had a better game plan to execute that.”

At No. 3, Ngo’s narrow escape (7-5, 2-6, 10-7) over Margaret Collins eased anxiety. That made it 4-2 Davie after singles. Had it been 3-3, anything could have happened in doubles.

“She was definitely frustrated that she dropped the second set,” Ferebee said. “After that, she regained composure and got it back into gear. I gave the match ball to Laura because she wasn’t feeling her best and she got us two big wins. But it very easily could have gone to Amanda for pulling that out. She put us up 4-2. Three-three is a different ballgame.”

After dropping the second set, Ngo found herself in a 2-0 hole in the tiebreaker. She was clearly running on fumes.

“I was so exhausted from playing in the conference tournament and then playing Reynolds again,” Ngo said. “By the end of the first set, I couldn’t feel my legs anymore.”

She found a second wind and roared to a huge win, the third one this season over Collins.

“My teammates were very supportive with their cheers and stuff,” Ngo said. “Also my sister (Jennifer) was home (from Appalachian St. for fall break) and she supported me. And MaryAnne (Byerly, assistant coach) was there and her pep talks always help.”

Davie only needed one win in doubles to clinch, and Becker/Ngo took care of business, 8-3, at No. 1.

Notes: Davie’s fifth straight win lifted its overall record to 14-1. … Reynolds (14-5) had won seven straight before meeting Davie for the third time. … Becker (18-0) and Ngo (15-0) are still perfect. Privat and Foster are 18-1 and 14-1, respectively. Becker/Ngo are 8-0 in doubles.