Vikes Have Home Court Advantage
October has been a bountiful month for Union Pines junior tennis player Neena Wanko.
In the span of three weeks Wanko helped her team win a Cape Fear Valley championship, won her second conference singles title, and this past weekend she won a regional singles title.
Wanko won four matches to earn the regional title. On Friday Wanko breezed to a 6-0, 6-0 win in the first round of the regional. On Saturday, in her semi-finals match, she defeated the tournament's top seed, Ros Lourdes from Western Guilford, 6-3, 6-2. Then in the final she topped second-seeded Carolyn Kernodle of Williams High, 6-1, 6-2 to claim the crown.
"It feels good to get this one," Wanko said after she was presented with her Regional Singles Champion medal.
Lady Viking head coach John Frye said Wanko is a deserving champion.
"Neena has worked so hard on her game year round," Frye said after the event, "and has really devoted so much time and energy to her craft, and she was certainly an artist out there this morning (Saturday)."
Over her last two matches Wanko tallied 10 aces, 17 service winners and 65 winners against just 22 unforced errors and 6 double faults.
"This weekend went really good," Wanko said with a smile after the final match, "my toughest match was the last one. I started off okay but finished strong and hopefully next weekend I can both start and finish strong in my matches at the states."
Frye was playing the regional on the Vikings' home court made Wanko's win more special.
"It has been a while since we have had a Lady Viking singles champion," Frye said, "We certainly had some quality tennis played here today. In fact the finalists that competed out here have a skill level that rates up there with the best I have seen."
With her win, Wanko moves on to to compete in the State Championships this weekend, in Burlington, where she will be among the top-seeded players. Currently her career record as a Viking is 74-2.
F.W. Manning II can be reached by cell at (910) 639-5481 or at email@example.com.
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