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Tennis team most cohesive coach has seen

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Davie girls tennis team’s showing at Reagan on May 17 drew the ire of coach Collin Ferebee. The 7-2 loss saw a disheartening effort from the War Eagles.

“After their effort at Reagan, I was incredibly upset,” Ferebee said. “Honestly, it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my coaching career. I told them we’re going to become a new team.”

The fourth-year coach views the May 18 practice as a defining moment. He has a much different feeling now.

“All 13 girls have stepped up the last two weeks, and I have never seen them be more dedicated, work harder and run faster than I have in my entire four years,” he said.

The reborn War Eagles lost 7-2 at West Forsyth on May 24, but it was not a bad loss. The Titans, who improved to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the Central Piedmont Conference, are just better than Davie right now. Both of their losses were 5-4 to Bishop McGuinness and Reynolds. Davie’s wins came from No. 5 Abby Fletcher (6-4, 6-2) and the No. 2 doubles team of Laura Newsom and Leslie Newsom (8-1).

Davie responded with back-to-back blowout wins, both by 7-2 margins at home. Elise Weidman (6-2, 4-6, 10-7), Leslie Newsom (6-2, 6-1), Laura Newsom (6-0, 6-0) and Fletcher (6-0, 6-0) posted victories against Glenn on May 26, with two forfeits thrown in, as Davie stopped a three-match slide.

One day later, Karlie Quinn (6-3, 6-2), Weidman (6-1, 7-6), Laura Newsom (6-1, 6-4), Fletcher (6-1, 6-3) and Sarah West Marklin (6-0, 6-0) were winners as Davie eased past East Forsyth, which forfeited at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.

Ferebee was hoping the team would take the right turn at the May 18 crossroads and begin to grow. That is exactly what has happened.

Quinn is 7-3 at No. 1. Marklin is 6-3 at Nos. 5-6. Fletcher is 4-4 at Nos. 4-5. With only one senior – Laura Newsom – Davie (4-5 overall, 3-5 CPC) has a real chance to break upward next fall.

“The last two weeks have been the hardest-working two weeks I’ve had in my four years at Davie,” said Ferebee, who has four freshmen, five sophomores and three juniors. “I think this is the most cohesive team I’ve ever had. There are leaders in so many different ways. Laura is our senior leader and every single one of them look up to her with respect. When she says something, they do it. Karlie, of course, is a great player, and they all want to be able to hit like her. So she leads by how much time she puts in on the court. Then you have Elise Weidman and Bonnie Taylor running hard every single time to get back in line, to pick balls up, to get to the next drill. Everyone is buying in. So I am incredibly excited looking forward.”