Newsome pushes one of CPC’s best to the brink

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie tennis star Elliot Newsome beats the heck out of everyone not named Samantha McEachran.

When Davie hosted West Forsyth on Sept. 27, there was a blockbuster matchup at No. 1 singles. Newsome came in 0-4 in her career against the CPC’s three-time singles champion and 34-1 against everyone else.

Newsome pushed McEachran to the brink but came up short – 6-3, 3-6, 8-10. Despite her first loss in 12 matches as a junior, Newsome showed she can hang with the McEachran. And she showed the gap’s not as wide as it once was.

As a freshman, Newsome lost to McEachran twice by the same scores (6-0, 6-2). Last year Newsome lost the matchup 6-3, 6-1 and 7-6, 6-4. And when they met last week, it was a classic battle.

As far as the team score, Davie overmatched the Titans 8-1.

“It was the best player playing the next-best player in the conference, and it lived up to everything it was supposed to be,” coach Collin Ferebee said. “Elliot came out ready to go. We won the first set and we were like: ‘Is she going to do it?’ Just like that, Sam flipped a switch. She’s the best player in the conference right now and she won the second set. Elliot played well, Sam just played better. Then they went to a tiebreaker. It was 8-8 and then Sam won the last two points. It was as close as it could possibly be.

“Elliot absolutely is closing the gap. She has worked her tail off since her freshman year.”

While Newsome dropped a heartbreaker, the rest of the match was all Davie. Corbin Drum (6-0, 6-1), Bailey Aderhold (6-0, 6-3), Leah Gibson (6-0, 6-0), Ali Cranfill (6-0, 6-0) and Gabby Thompson (6-0, 6-0) made fast work of the Titans from Nos. 2-6 singles, as did Drum/Gibson (8-0) and Cranfill/Thompson (8-0) in doubles.

Newsome got a measure of redemption in doubles, teaming with Aderhold to pull out an 8-6 decision over McEachran/Kara McLelland.

“A special shout-out to Gabby,” Ferebee said. “I looked over and she was walking off the court. It was Laura Becker levels (of dominance). I was super impressed with Gab.”

Davie 8, WF 1

One day later in Clemmons, the War Eagles whipped West by the same score. Newsome faced McEachran again, but this time the Titan won comfortably (6-3, 6-2).

“Elliot played really well, it just didn’t happen,” Ferebee said. “We haven’t decided what our conference tournament lineup is going to be. If Elliot plays singles, I have a feeling we’re going to see one more showdown this season.”

Drum, Aderhold, Cranfill, Thompson and Casey Cao clinched victory in singles. Cao got the nod at No. 6 and the sophomore ran her record to 5-0 in spot duty.

“I let Casey have another shot at six,” Ferebee said. “I wanted her to get more match experience because I see her as a big part of the future.”

There was a hard-fought battle at No. 1 doubles. Newsome/Aderhold faced a 7-6 deficit, but they were marvelous at money time, prevailed 9-7 over McEachran/McLelland and pushed their doubles record to 8-0.

“It was a barnburner,” Ferebee said. “In almost pitch black darkness, they turned it around and won. We were four points away from losing. We were ecstatic to have that turnaround, especially against a team like West’s No. 1 doubles.”

Drum/Gibson won 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, and sophomores Victoria McFarlin/Ada Wallace played together for the first time and romped 8-2 at No. 3.

“(McFarlin and Wallace) got a huge win,” he said. “We were really proud of them for that.”

Notes: Davie played three matches in four days, starting with a 9-0 home win over Mt. Tabor. … Davie has beaten West six straight times. … Riding a five-match winning streak, Davie (12-1, 11-1 CPC) has all but clinched the regular-season championship.