Viking Girls Advance in Tennis Playoffs
The Union Pines girls’ tennis team tallied a convincing 5-1 victory against McMichael High Tuesday in the opening round of the state 3-A dual team playoffs at the John S. Frye Tennis Facility in Cameron.
With the victory over Mid-State conference two seed McMichael (14-4) the homestanding Vikings improved to 16-0 on the season.
As the top seed from the 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference, having won the league title with a perfect mark of 12-0, Union Pines hosts Eastern Wayne this coming Tuesday for round two of the playoffs. The match starts at 4 p.m.
Madi Kramer won her 100th career match in dramatic fashion, winning a third set tiebreaker to give Union Pines its fifth point, clinching the Viking win over McMichael. Kramer, a senior playing in the No. 3 spot for Union Pines, became the third current Lady Viking to join the Century Club along with senior teammates Melissa Tally and Laura Cameron.
“My 100th career win was amazing,” said Kramer. “It felt so special to be able to do it while helping win the match for my team.”
With the tiebreaker win, Kramer’s victory gave Union Pines its fifth point of the dual and clinched the match, thus making doubles play moot. Kramer missed more than half the season because of a torn labrum and rotator cuff tear in her right shoulder.
“I never thought I would ever get to achieve my 100th win, especially with my injury and everything,” Kramer said. “It was a long match that I think was very helpful for me to get back in the groove of things. Getting back on the court after not being able to play most of my senior tennis career was amazing. It felt so good to be able to play with all of my friends and teammates.
“I believe that our team is strong all the way around and we have a very good chance at making it far in the state playoffs — I love all of my teammates and am looking forward to a good playoff run.”
Tally, a two-time CFVC singles champion and league player of the year, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory in her 2012 playoff debut for Union Pines.
“As a senior leader I had to tell myself that this is my last year playing high school tennis and that I needed to make the most of it,” said Tally. “Things are certainly different as far as the lineup, but that was something that I had to accept, and I feel that I am always able to contribute to my team’s success at No. 2.”
Tally was the No. 1 player for her sophomore and junior campaigns for the Vikes. She finished as the CFVC singles runner-up to Union Pines freshman Mary Beth Jackson last week at the league championships.
“I feel that this year we have the most potential to make a deep run into the playoffs than we have ever had,” said Tally. “Everybody on the team is injury-free for the most part, and it appears from both matches and practices that we are all performing at our best. This victory (over McMichael) was a good showing of our ability as a team to succeed in playoffs.”
Frye was pleased with the effort he saw from each of his six Viking singles players.
“Mary Beth (Jackson) served notice that she can play with the best in Tuesday’s playoff team dual,” said Frye. “She had a 6-4 first-set loss to (McMichael’s) Masey DeMoss, who is among the select favorites to win the state 3-A singles championship.
“Melissa played perhaps her best match of the season with a minimum of unforced errors and numerous winners. Her singles win was the 130th victory of her career — advancing her into ninth position on the career list. Laura, Elena and Megan Smith were each superlative (in) overwhelming their opponents.”
Cameron’s single victory was the 103rd of her career, moving her to No. 25 on the all-time list. Elena D’Argenio, also a senior, reached a key plateau Tuesday as well, winning her 75th career match. Cameron and D’Argenio are seniors along with Kramer and Tally.
Union Pines sends four singles players (Jackson, Tally, Kailee Southworth, Audrey Van Arsdale) and three doubles teams (D’Argenio-Cameron, Kramer-Smith and Celine Bullock-Tabitha Hamilton) today (Friday) to compete in the two-day 3-A Mideast Regional at the Burlington Tennis Center in Burlington.
Union Pines 5, McMichael 1
Singles — Masey DeMoss (M) defeated Jackson 6-4, 6-0; Tally (UP) def. Alisa Chu 6-0, 6-0; Kramer (UP) def. Jaime Cruise 4-6, 6-4 (10-4); Cameron (UP) def. Hannah Richardson 6-0, 6-1; D’Argenio (UP) def. Patricia Mable 6-3, 6-0; Smith (UP) def. Kristen Martin 6-1, 6-1.
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