Tennis wins at Reagan

Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie’s tennis team, which is bidding for the third three-peat in the program’s 48-year history, made quite the statement at Reagan on Aug. 28. The War Eagles played out of their minds and notched a rain-shortened 7-0 victory.

“Reagan is good,” coach Collin Ferebee said. “They are a good, quality team that I respect immensely. But man, everybody played great. It was our most complete performance so far.”

What made the score all the more impressive is Reagan is much more experienced than Davie. Freshman Corbin Drum, who played No. 1 for Ellis last year, won 6-2, 6-1 over at senior at No. 2. Sophomore Bailey Aderhold won 6-2, 6-0 over a senior at No. 3.

“Bailey hit the best serve I’ve ever seen her hit,” Ferebee said. “Her serving game has improved tremendously. Last year it was OK. It worked at No. 6, but I was a little anxious about it at three. Man, her serves this year are rockets, and it’s hard for girls to get those back. She’s winning a bunch of free points on them.”

Freshman Leah Gibson, who was North Davie’s No. 1 last year, won 6-1, 6-4 over a senior at No. 4. Sophomore Casey Cao won 6-3, 6-2 over a junior at No. 6. In doubles, the two freshmen (Drum/Gibson) knocked off a pair of seniors, 8-6.

“Leah’s relatively new to the game, but she is a student of the game,” Ferebee said. “She is always asking questions. She’s always trying to improve. She’s really hard on herself. I tell her: ‘You’ve made all this progress, let’s look at the positives.’ Playing No. 4 as a freshman is a pretty big deal.

“Casey has made a lot of strides. She’s been getting lessons on her own, going to clinics and you can see her game has massively improved.

“Reagan didn’t graduate anybody last year. They kept their entire starting lineup. They’re not all in the same place, but none of them left. To go over to Reagan and win like that … the girls are feeling a pretty good high.”

Elliot Newsome had a routine 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 1. Senior Gabby Thompson’s slump carried over into the first set against Reagan at No. 5. But she regrouped, caught fire and won 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.

“To use a golf term, Gabby was going through the yips,” Ferebee said. “We figured something out at practice and she played pretty well against East Forsyth – but I wasn’t really sure what that meant. She played OK in the first set, but talk about flipping a switch. She came out blazing in the second set. She said: ‘What am I doing?’ I said: ‘Just keep doing it.’ And she rocked it the rest of the way.”

Davie 8, Tabor 1

The War Eagles continued to roll at Mt. Tabor on Aug. 30. Sweeping singles were Newsome, Drum, Aderhold, Gibson, Ali Cranfill and Thompson.

Cranfill outlasted her opponent in a battle that lasted two hours, 35 minutes. It was awesome. The scores were 6-7, 7-5, 10-4.

“Ali has been sick and probably not feeling her best,” Ferebee said. “But she locked down. She didn’t play doubles because I figured she needed a break. That shows you some resolve to stay out there and fight that long.”

The match at No. 6 saw a substantial turnaround. After losing the first set 6-1, Thompson took the second set 6-3 and won the tiebreaker 10-6.

“In practice Gabby hits against some hard hitters,” Ferebee said. “The girl at Tabor is good – don’t get me wrong – but she didn’t hit with a lot of pace, so Gab had to adjust. I walked up to her after the first set and said: ‘Alright, Gab, you’ve got her right where you want her. You’re going to win the second set and you’re going to win the tiebreaker.’ She did it. She likes a lot of pace and it took her time to readjust.”

Newsome/Aderhold and Drum/Gibson had victories at Nos. 1-2 doubles, respectively. Thompson/Victoria McFarlin lost at No. 3, but the margin was 9-8.

“They had literally never played together before,” Ferebee said. “To lose in a tiebreaker, I was happy with that.”

Notes: Davie has a five-match winning streak against Reagan. … Davie is 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference. Reynolds and Reagan are tied for second at 3-1. … Davie has nine straight wins over Tabor and 33 straight wins in regular-season play. … Newsome, Drum and Aderhold are all 5-0. Gibson is 4-1. Cao 3-0, Thompson 3-1 and Cranfill 2-0.