Patriots Advance in Tennis
Ally Parziale, in singles, and Chrissy Nurnberg and Caroline Decker, in doubles, won their second Southeastern Conference girls’ tennis titles in a row for Pinecrest at Scotland County Tennis Center last week.
The three Patriots, along with singles runner-up Antonia Meyers, have qualified for the East Regional competition being held at Terry Sanford High School this Friday and Saturday. Earlier, the Pats (11-2) won their fourth league title in a row.
Patriot coach Gail Deese talked about the season on Monday as her players practiced for Tuesday’s 4-A state duals match at home against Millbrook (15-5) The winner will meet either Terry Sanford or Smithfield-Selma the following Tuesday.
“They realize regionals are going to be tough,” she said of the Patriot qualifiers. “I think the Union Pines match (5-4 loss) made them think a little bit, realizing they have to step up their game. It’s been a good year with a bunch of good girls that want to win and work hard, and enjoy each other.”
Parziale, a senior, who was the singles runner-up in her freshman and sophomore years, earned conference player of the year honors for the second time. Nurnberg, a junior, Decker, a sophomore. and Meyers, a senior, also earned all-league recognition.
Junior Karen Smith, and freshmen Piper Davis and Brittany Jenkins were honorable mention selections for the Patriots. Deese was voted conference coach of the year.
Pinecrest dominated the conference, winning 58 of 59 sets in singles matches. Including non-league action, the singles records of the Patriots included: Parziale 14-0, Meyers 14-1, Nurnberg and Decker 11-2, Jenkins 9-2 and Smith 7-4. Nurnberg and Decker were 15-2 in doubles.
In the rain-delayed conference tournament at Scotland, Parziale defeated teammate Meyers 6-2, 6-4 in the singles final. Meyers advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 semifinal win over Brittany Hudson of Richmond Senior. Meyers’ sister, Mariotti, was the runner-up to Parziale the previous year.
Smith and Davis lost 6-2, 6-3 to Monroe Buie and Leslie Floyd of Scotland in one of the doubles semis. Nurnberg and Decker then accomplished their repeat, defeating the Scot duo 4-6, 6-3 and 6-2.
Parziale will be making her fourth trip in a row to the regional in a bid to qualify for the state championships for the third time. She is expected to be a second or third seed with Mid-South champion Tyler Baker of Terry Sanford and Marisa Pereria of Jack Britt among those standing in her way.
“Regionals should be interesting because both Terry Sanford and Jack Britt have good girls coming in,” she said. “I definitely want to make it further in the states than I have before because I haven’t made it past the first round. I think I can do it if I make it to states. It’s my last year. I’m excited.”
Deese feels Parziale has the makeup to do well against tough opponents.
“She has the ability to raise her game to another level,” the coach said. “She can play good tennis and mentally stay in it.”
In addition to Parziale and Meyers, the other seniors on an overall young Patriot squad are Auden Laurence and Savannah Kittell.
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