Grimsley ends Davie’s memorable tennis season
Published 9:54 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021
By Brian Pitts
In the regular season, Davie’s tennis team went 4-0 in 5-4 matches and 5-2 in third-set tiebreakers.
The War Eagles always responded when they had to and they erupted out of nowhere to capture the Central Piedmont Conference.
Their luck, though, finally ran out against visiting Grimsley in the first round of the 4-A playoffs on Oct. 19. It was a grueling match that saw a reversal of fortunes for the War Eagles, who fell on the short end of a 5-4 decision.
“They are a good team,” coach Colin Ferebee said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. They were good – don’t get me wrong – but I think Reagan and Reynolds are both better and we were 4-0 against Reagan and Reynolds. We probably beat Grimsley eight times out of 10; this was just one of the two.”
Thanks to wins by Elliot Newsome (6-3, 6-1 at No. 1), Whitney DeLoach (6-0, 6-4 at No. 3) and Leslie Newsom (6-4, 7-5 at No. 6), second-seeded Davie was step for step – 3-3 score – with the No. 15 Whirlies when doubles began.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Newsome/Newsom crushed their No. 2 doubles opponents 8-0, but Grimsley took the other two doubles to hand Davie its only loss of the season.
Davie came within a millimeter of advancing in the playoffs for the first time since 2016, when it made the third round. At No. 4 singles, Sarah West Marklin lost in a third-set tiebreaker by a skinny margin. The score was 6-4, 5-7, 11-13.
“Our last truly competitive match was (5-4) against Reagan on Sept. 30,” Ferebee said. “So we basically had 20 days off. It’s hard to get yourself amped back up after 20 days off.”
The loss ended one of the giddiest rides in program history for Davie girls tennis. The War Eagles finished 14-1, joining a short list of teams that won that many times. They went 15-5 in 2001, 16-4 in 2007, 16-1 in 2016 and 14-2 in 2017.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but we were 5-7 last year and we were 14-1 this year,” Ferebee said. “If that’s the only downside, we have a lot to be proud of. After we clinched a share of first place (in the CPC), I told the girls everything from here on is icing on the cake.
Three days after the Grimsley match, four War Eagles competed in the Midwest Regional at UNC-Greensboro.
The doubles team of Newsome/Newsom split two matches. They won 6-3, 6-0 over Northwest Guilford’s Olivia Gleeson/Kate Gentel. Then they lost 6-0, 6-0 to Marvin Ridge’s Reese Sager/Avery Sager.
DeLoach and Cat Rosser were knocked out in the first round in singles. DeLoach lost 6-0, 6-0 to Reagan Harris of Southeast Guilford, and Rosser lost by the same scores to Merritt Wilson of Marvin Ridge.
Notes: The Whirlies improved to 12-4. They tied for second in the Metro Conference. Page won the league at 14-0, while Grimsley and Northwest Guilford tied at 11-3. … The top seven singles records for Davie: Newsome 13-2, Tru Koren 9-8, DeLoach 15-4, Marklin 11-4, Abby Fletcher 10-2, Newsom 10-0 and Rosser 8-2. … Newsome/Newsom went 11-2 in doubles. … Ferebee only loses three seniors from this championship team (Fletcher, Allison Plott and DeLoach). “We’re going to be good next year,” he said.