30 in a row: Tennis sets new record

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

Davie tennis coach Collin Ferebee beamed with pride as the War Eagles opened the season with back-to-back wins over Central Piedmont Conference rivals.

The season-opening win over Reynolds tied the school record for consecutive wins in the regular season. The win over East Forsyth broke the record and extended the incredible regular-season winning streak to 30.

“I had it in the back of my minnd the whole time (at Reynolds),” Ferebee said. “I think the girls had forgotten about it, but the whole time I was like: ‘Please, just let us at least tie it.’”

The War Eagles scratched and clawed for a 5-4 victory in Winsto-Salem on Aug. 21. Wins from Elliot Newsome (6-3, 6-0 at No. 1), Corbin Drum (7-6, 7-6 at two), Bailey Aderhold (6-0, 7-5 at three), Casey Cao (6-4, 6-0 at six) and Newsome/Aderhold (8-3 at No. 1 doubles) enabled Davie to match the 29 streak from 2015-17. John Bullins and Ferebee were the coaches during that run.

How about Drum? The freshman survived two tiebreakers in her high school debut.

“Corbin kept us on the edge of our seat,” Ferebee said. “In the second set, she was down 5-2. She really buckled down and got a huge win. Without that, we would have been in some hot water. She’s doing that in her first conference match, so I’m quite excited to have her on the team. She plays lots of tournaments and trains and stuff like that, like Elliot. She’s played in big matches and won tournaments. It was just another day for her, just a new setting. That may have given her extra nerves that she’s not had before.”

With senior Ali Cranfill out sick, a sophomore (Cao) filled in at No. 6 and rose to the moment.

“Casey went from seven to six against Reynolds. It was trial by fire for her,” Ferebee said.

Although Reynolds took two doubles matches, Newsome and Aderhold nailed it down by a wide margin.

“Reynolds has a strong doubles lineup, which is what I was worried about,” he said. “We took a gamble with double freshmen at two, and honestly (Drum and Leah Gibson) played really, really well (in 9-8 defeat). The lost in a tiebreaker, so it’s not like they got wiped off the court. To play like that against Reynolds is something to be proud of.”

Davie 7, EF 2

The result at East Forsyth on Aug. 23 was exactly what Davie expected. East didn’t have enough players to field a team in 2021 and 2022, so it wasn’t about to keep Davie from making history. This was the first Davie-East meeting since June 1 of 2021, when East nipped Davie 5-4.

“Look back at where we came from,” Ferebee said of the record-breaking win. “In the spring 2021 season, we were (5-7) and I said: ‘This losing has got to stop. I know you’re trying, but we’ve got to start winning again. I know we can do it; we’ve got to focus.’ Now we’ve won 26 straight conference matches. I said: ‘You should be really proud of all the work you’ve put in to turn this program from (6-9 in 2019 and 5-7 in 2021) to 26-0 (in the CPC).’”

Newsome (6-0, 6-0), Drum (6-0, 6-0), Aderhold (6-0, 6-0), Gibson (6-0, 6-0), Gabby Thompson (6-0, 6-1) and Cao (6-0, 6-0) swept singles with authority. Ella O’Toole and Brooklyn Lakey tacked on an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles.

“I was just happy East Forsyth has a team again,” he said. “They played really well for not having a team for two years. I was proud of my girls because sometimes those ‘easy’ ones are the ones that get you. We came out locked and loaded and focused. We only dropped one game in singles, and that shows we were ready to play.”

Davie 5, Forbush 0

The War Eagles just keep on keeping on. In a nonconference match at Forbush on Aug. 24, they pounded out a 5-0 win in a match that was shortened by thunderstorms.

Newsome (8-0), Drum (8-4), Aderhold (8-3), Gibson (8-6) and Cranfill (8-1) got the wins. One singles and all the doubles were washed out.

“They only had five available courts,” Ferebee said. “Gabby was winning and would have made it 6-0 because she was up 6-3 at the time (the match was stopped).”

Notes: Davie has beaten Reynolds five straight times. … Davie’s CPC winning streak (26) is a school record that keeps growing. The old record was 20 from 2015-17. … Drum and Cao were the players of the match against Reynolds. Gibson and O’Toole took the honors against East. And Cranfill was the POM against Forbush “because she’s been sick and it was her first match back,” Ferebee said. “She was the first one off the court with an 8-1 win. What a way to come back.”