Panther Creek, Green Hope tennis march on

tstevens@newsobserver.comOctober 24, 2013 

Wake County’s four best 4A girls tennis teams dominated Tuesday and advanced through the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team tennis tournament in impressive fashion.

The four teams dropped one set while dispatching two previously undefeated teams and three conference champions.

“I think our playoff success is indicative of how good the tennis is in our area,” said Millbrook coach Kristy Blake, whose Wildcats knocked off previously unbeaten Fayetteville Britt 9-0. “You play really good people in your conference and in your non-conference matches and it gets you ready for the playoffs.

“We pretty much won all of our singles 0 and 0, and each of their singles players had been undefeated. It is like being in a different league. The tennis in our area is unbelievable.”

The dominance was not unexpected.

Undefeated Broughton, the defending state 4A dual-team champion, has won 11 state titles in the past 18 years and has been in the dual-team championships 16 times during the same period.

The Caps (20-0) moved to the third round by beating PAC-6 champion East Chapel Hill (18-6) 5-1.

Broughton faces a challenging third-round match with Panther Creek (18-1), a 6-0 winner over previously undefeated Clayton (18-1 and the Greater Neuse champ). Panther Creek’s only loss was a 5-4 setback against Broughton.

The other area quarterfinal has Millbrook (14-2) facing Green Hope (15-4), a 6-0 winner over Garner (16-4).

Green Hope’s No. 1 Karena Zhang, No. 2 Jurasia Horvat and No. 4 Priyanka Srinivas took 6-0, 6-0 wins, and the Falcons won each of the singles matches in straight sets.

Green Hope ousted Millbrook in the second round last year.

“The Millbrook squad is excited to have a rematch against Green Hope ... and we look forward to giving it a good match next Tuesday,” Blake said.

Gibbons, NCSSM roll

And it isn’t just the area 4A teams that are dominating play.

Cardinal Gibbons, a 6-0 winner over previously undefeated Eastern Wayne, has been in the 3A finals two of the past three years and was the state titlist in 2011. The Crusaders are 25-1.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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