Tennis wins two showdowns

Published 9:45 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Davie tennis team’s phenomenal trio at the top of the lineup is on the verge of securing regular-season title No. 3 in three years.

Davie notched a pair of satisfying 5-4 victories last week, at home against Reynolds and on the road against Reagan.

The War Eagles kept pace with Reagan by taking down Reynolds on Sept. 19. In regular-season play, this was the fourth straight 5-4 decision between Davie and Reynolds. The War Eagles, who won at Hanes Park on Sept. 11, are 3-1 in those big battles.

For the season, No. 1 seed Laura Becker had won 80-plus games without dropping one until the Reynolds match. She still dismantled the Demon 6-0, 6-1.

On Sept. 11, Reynolds’ Elizabeth Youseff gave No. 2 Sierra Foster a fight in the second set. But Foster didn’t have any problem dissecting Youseff this time, winning 6-3, 6-1. Foster improved her career record against the Demon to 5-2.

“I think Sierra was over playing long matches,” coach Collin Ferebee said. “She did what she had to do and got it done. It was hot on the courts, so I think fitness had something to do with it.”

No. 3 Amanda Ngo trounced her opponent 6-2, 6-0 as singles ended 3-3. Emery Rosenbaum was oh so close to forcing a third-set tiebreaker at No. 4. She lost 6-3, 7-6 (9-7).

“Emery played incredibly well,” Ferebee said. “She had a rough spell at the end of the first set, but other than that, she had her head up fighting strong all day long.”

Davie quickly quelled the suspense in doubles. Becker/Rosenbaum steamrolled 8-1 at No. 1, and Foster/Ngo rolled 8-4 at No. 2 as Davie defeated the Demons for the sixth time in seven tries.

“Laura and Emery didn’t play together last year,” he said. “I had Amanda and Laura playing together last year, and they were phenomenal as a doubles team. But Emery and Laura are figuring each other out. Sometimes they start a little slow, but once they get going, they really get going.”

The week before, Foster and Ngo had to rally to win. This time they took command early.

“They really like playing together,” he said. “They click. They’ve played together since South Davie. They know how each other works. They know where the other one’s going to be.”


One day later, Reagan hosted Davie in a much-anticipated battle of unbeatens. Reagan was certainly a worthy foe for a first-place showdown, but in the five spots where the War Eagles triumphed, they turned the Raiders inside out.

The Raiders, who beat Reynolds 5-4, slipped to 9-1, 5-1. Davie’s ninth straight win over Reagan lifted it to 10-0, 6-0.

“It was 5-4 and looks close,” Ferebee said. “But the ones we won, we won (decisively).”

Becker’s extraordinary skill level makes it almost inconceivable that she could ever have what could be termed a “bad” match. There is only great, very good and somewhat less good. After claiming 86 of 87 games before Reagan, she failed to meet her standards against senior Caroline Richter – and yet she still won 6-1, 6-2. Yep, she’s pretty great.

“Caroline is the best player that Laura will see until she gets to regionals,” Ferebee said. “Laura had an off day and Reagan’s coach told me Caroline played the best match she’s played this year. You have off days. Like in golf, you can shoot an 85 one day and the next day shoot a 98. It’s just one of those things. Laura was frustrated with herself, but happy to win and help the team.”

Davie’s other four wins were utterly in character: Foster 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles; Ngo 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 singles; Becker/Rosenbaum 8-2 at No. 1 doubles; and Foster/Ngo 8-2 at No. 2 doubles.

“Before the match I said: ‘I’m not going to hype you up. I’m not going to get you excited. We don’t need to because we’re going to do our normal business. We’re 9-0 and I’m not going to change it.’”

Becker is 9-0 for the year in singles and 78-7 in her four-year career. Foster is 10-0 and 51-15. Ngo is 10-0 and 54-3. Becker/Rosenbaum are 5-0 at No. 1 doubles, with the closest margin being 8-3. Foster/Ngo are 5-0 at No. 2 doubles.

“It was sweet (beating Reagan),” Ferebee said. “I told them I don’t want a number (in the loss column) besides a zero. Last year we had a 1 (Reynolds); I don’t want a 1.”

Notes: Ferebee said he was proud of the way Aisulu Ball competed in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Reagan’s No. 5. “She played really well,” he said. “Their No. 5 was pretty strong. She made shots that looked better than their three and four.” … Ava Montebello had a nasty draw at No. 6, losing 6-1, 6-1. “But she was playing the girl who played No. 3 for them last year,” he said. … The 10-0 mark is not unfamiliar territory for Davie. It was 16-0 in early November in 2016.