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Girls tennis shows growth

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Although Davie’s girls tennis team finished 3-7 in the Central Piedmont Conference, the War Eagles showed growth during the 2021 dual-team season.

Take the final regular-season match against Reagan. The Raiders were supposed to cruise. Davie nearly won. The Raiders pulled out three tight matchups to prevail 6-3.

“After the Reagan match (in May), that was the most upset I’ve been with a team,” coach Collin Ferebee said. “After this, it was one of the most proud moments I’ve had as a coach.”

The War Eagles beat East Forsyth 7-2 on May 27, but lost 5-4 at East on June 1. On the surface, that appears to be a bad loss for Davie. But this was a different East team. East was missing its No. 1 seed, senior McKinley Rice, in the first meeting. Rice was back for the rematch, and thus East’s lineup was in place.

Davie’s winners were Karlie Quinn (6-4, 6-3), Sarah West Marklin (6-0, 6-0), Quinn/Elise Weidman (8-2) and Abby Fletcher/Marklin (8-1).

“East’s entire team was seniors and it was their Senior Night and their last match,” Ferebee said. “So they probably had that extra juice in the tank to get it done. They all were fighting, and that’s all I can ask them to do. Sometimes you come up short.”

Davie 9, Parkland 0

One day after the loss to East, Davie unloaded on the lowly Mustangs in a road nonconference match.

Davie did not lose a single game in singles as Parkland fell to 0-5 with its fifth shutout loss. The singles wins belonged to Quinn, Weidman, Laura Newsom, Fletcher, Marklin and Gabby Thompson.

Grace Jacobs/Allison Plott, Bonnie Taylor/Brooklyn Lakey and Ali Cranfill/Katelyn Cohen widened the margin in doubles.

Reagan 6, Davie 3

As Davie approached its third match in three days, visiting Reagan looked like a heavy favorite on paper.

The Raiders swept East Forsyth; Davie and East split. Reagan lost 5-4 to West Forsyth in one of their meetings; Davie lost 8-1 and 7-2 to the Titans. And Davie looked overmatched in a 7-2 loss to Reagan on May 17.

Davie did not pull the upset on June 3, but there was a different feeling following this loss to Reagan.

Quinn, a sophomore, crushed junior Ashley Belnap 6-1, 6-1. Weidman, a junior, pulled out a third-set tiebreaker to knock off senior Julia Stern by scores of 4-6, 6-4, 10-5. At No. 1 doubles, Quinn/Weidman rolled 8-1.

“In the tiebreaker, Elise had ice in her veins,” Ferebee said. “I was really proud of her because it was her last match for us. She’s not a senior, but she’ll be transferring to School of the Arts. So she got to go out with two wins.”

Davie needed two more wins and almost got them. Laura Newsom, Marklin and Marklin/Fletcher were able to hold their own in narrow defeats.

Ferebee saw something admirable in Newsom’s 6-0, 7-6 loss at No. 3. After getting shut out in the first set, she took senior Noor Kazi to the wire in the second set. Marklin, a sophomore, took junior Ashleigh Larson to a third-set tiebreaker at No. 5. And Marklin/Fletcher fought their tails off in a 9-7 decision at No. 3 doubles.

“We lost Leslie (Newsom) to an injury, our No. 3, and we had a tiebreaker on five and we were a game away at No. 3 doubles from turning that horrible defeat (on May 17) into a win today,” Ferebee said.

“In the first set (for Laura Newsom), a lot of the games went to deuce and (Kazi) was pulling them out. Obviously, Laura came up a little short, but to go from 0-6 to a tiebreaker, I was really proud that she gave me everything she had in her last (home) match.

“(Marklin/Fletcher) were down 0-3, love-30 – so two points from being down 0-4. Then they turned it around. They were right there at the end – just came up a little bit short. That was Sarah West and Abby never quitting.”

Notes: Davie finished 5-7 overall as a team, but the season is not over. In the Midwest Regional, Davie will be represented by Quinn in singles and the Newsom sisters in doubles. … After going 7-12 as a freshman at No. 1, Quinn showed amazing improvement as a sophomore, going 10-3. “For Karlie to flip it around in one year, that big of a turnaround while still playing No. 1, just shows how hard she worked in the offseason and how much better she’s gotten since her freshman year,” Ferebee said. … Three more spots achieved winning records. Marklin went 8-4 at No. 5-6 singles. Thompson went 4-3 at No. 6 singles. Fletcher/Marklin went 5-4 at Nos. 2-3 doubles.