Fulfilling a forecast that looked promising both on paper as well as the court, Pine Lake Preparatory’s girls tennis team booked a second consecutive — and second-ever for the program overall — appearance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 1A class dual-team championship match.
Well worth the added wait, the Pride withstood a one-day, weather-related delay before posting a 6-0 triumph over fellow NCHSAA 1A-class West Region finalist Chatham Central to secure another anticipated berth in the state finals title tilt.
With the win, in which for the fourth time in as many dual-team duels held so far this season that none of Pine Lake’s doubles duos were asked to appear on the court, the Pride improved this year’s record to the unblemished 14-0 mark.
It accounts for the second consecutive fall season in which PLP merited a state finals bid in the girls dual-team tennis playoffs.
Just last year, with a starting roster comprised of just a single senior, the Pride fashioned a statewide second-place finish following a 5-2 defeat dropped against fellow finalist and East Region champion Raleigh Charter Academy that took place during what was the first-ever entry from the program to merit a championship match berth
This time around, a pair of seniors help form Pine Lake’s starting line-up for a second straight shot at capturing the school’s first girls team tennis trophy and net a second-ever such statewide showing for any girls athletic team in school history as well. This year’s entry has already collected just the second-ever NCHSAA West Region team tennis title over the stretch of an as-many-season span.
Getting there continued to be a breeze. For the fourth straight time to mirror the number of dual-team outing, the Pride emerged following the play of the six singles sessions alone.
For the winners, netting wins worth a team point apiece included, in order of team rank, Andersen Schubert, Kaley Frye, Kailey Patel, Sadie Ann Schubert, Sophia Taffet and Salem Matheson. Of the cast, it marks the second time appearance in a state final for the likes of sophomore Andersen Schubert and senior classmates Taffet and Matheson, who were all contributing members of last year’s eventual runner-up roster.
Pine Lake matched up against fellow undefeated East Region entry Franklin Academy, whose 17-0 Patriots are based out of the Wake Forest area, for play in the NCHSAA 1A-class level dual-team finals set to take place on the courts at Burlington Tennis Center.
The conducting of all four of the state’s dual-team title matches will be used to draw the girls tennis season to a close.