14-2 Davie tennis ousted in first round

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The 5-1 margin of defeat in the Davie tennis team’s home match against Southeast Guilford in the first round of the 4-A playoffs on Oct. 18 looks like a stomping.

It was anything but.

It was actually a painful loss in which the War Eagles suffered close-but-no-cigar agony in every singles match except Leah Gibson’s victory at No. 4.

“It was one of the closest matches I’ve ever coached – just ended up on the wrong side of it,” coach Collin Ferebee said.

The margins in Davie’s five losses were 4-6, 5-7; 6-7, 4-6; 2-6, 4-6; 4-6, 5-7; and 5-7, 4-6. Davie was that close to advancing and building on a seven-match winning streak.

Although the end was tough to take, the War Eagles went 14-2 and celebrated a three-peat in the Central Piedmont Conference. If Ferebee was going to write a script in August for how to navigate a season with two seniors, one junior, one sophomore and two freshmen in the starting six, is it safe to say he’d write this very script? Yes. Absolutely yes.

Davie is 42-4 across three seasons.

“It’s not the best way to end it; we’re a little upset,” he said. “But I told the girls: ‘Look, if you want me to say that I’m happy, I’m not going to lie and say that I am. Do we have some things to fix? Yes. However, look at all the wonderful things we did this year. There are way more positives than negatives, and I’m not going to get stuck on a very close match that we came on the wrong side of.’”

Ferebee had to bid farewell to two seniors starters: Ali Cranfill, who went 10-2 at No. 5, and Gabby Thompson, who went 11-4 at No. 6.

“Not to disparage any of the senior classes from before, but this is the one that first bought into me and the new way that Davie tennis was going to go,” he said. “Without them and their leadership, we wouldn’t be in the position that we’re in. For Ali and Gabby to step up their senior year, it’s going to be hard to replace them. They had senior leadership that the other girls looked up to. Eighty percent of the time, you didn’t have to worry about them bringing home a win at five and six.”

Notes: Davie was seeded No. 8 in the West Region, with Southeast at No. 25 after a 7-7 regular season. The Falcons’ record was deceiving. “They’re in the Metro (Conference) with Page, Northwest Guilford and Northern Guilford – teams that are always solid,” Ferebee said. … Gibson closed her freshman season with a 14-3 record. … Newsome carried a 16-4 mark into the regional tournament. Corbin Drum and Bailey Aderhold – who went 14-2 and 13-3 in singles, respectively – competed in doubles in the regional. Results from the regional will come next week.