The Pinecrest girls’ tennis team started off their 2019 season with a bang.

Returning this year having not lost any seniors, the team gained eight new players.

The Lady Patriots played Panther Creek first Aug. 20 at Panther Creek High School in a nonconference match.

Having never beaten Panther Creek, the girls were ready for a hard match. They played well with Caroline Landry, Brooke LaFrenz, Maddie Arrington, Anna Grace Black and Cat Watford winning their singles matches.

In doubles, Landry and Isabella King won their match and Alexandra King and Black won their match by default. The Lady Pats ended the day by beating Panther Creek 7-2, for the first time in school history.

“Playing Panther Creek was a great start to the season,” Landry said. “We gained lots of confidence from this win and I’m excited to see where the season takes us.”

The Patriots traveled to Clayton High School Aug. 21 for another nonconference match. The girls had never played Clayton before, so they went into the match unsure what to expect.

The team came out victorious and dominated the courts, with singles players Landry, LaFrenz, Arrington, Isabella King, Black and Alexandra King winning all six courts.

The doubles teams of Arrington and LaFrenz, Landry and Isabella King, and Black and Watford followed that up by winning the three doubles courts.

On Aug. 26, the first day of school for Pinecrest, the tennis team played New Hanover at Pinecrest for their last nonconference match before the start of the conference season.

Black was the only singles player that won her match, pulling out a third set tiebreaker. Landry and Isabella King had fun playing the tough No. 2 doubles team from Wilmington.

After an extremely competitive match, they were the only Patriot doubles team to win their pro set, with a score of 8-3.

While the team lost 7-2, the Patriot spirits were lifted by the support from the large group of Pinecrest students watching the match.

Pinecrest football player and spectator Bryce Galloway commentated, “All the hard work during the off season is really paying off,” said spectator Bryce Galloway, who is also a member of the Pinecrest football team. “There is so much talent on the court and they’re super fun to watch.”

The team played Richmond Senior High School in Rockingham Aug. 29 for the first Sandhills Athletic Conference match of the season. The Lady Pats swept the courts and won 9-0. Singles players Landry, Lafrenz, Arrington, Isabella King, Black and Watford won the singles matches while Alexandra King and Mia Hollrrah, Claire Gulley and Annecy Pratt, and Claire Murden and Crystal McLean won the doubles. 

The following week, the girls continued their winning streak Sept. 3 when they played conference foe Purnell Swett at home.

The same six girls again won all six singles matches while Arrington and LaFrenz, Alexandra King and Hollrah, and Gulley and Pratt won the three doubles courts.

Although two other matches were scheduled later that week, Hurricane Dorian had different plans and both matches were postponed.

Pinecrest is now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Patriots have a busy week in front of them with three matches scheduled.

After playing conference rival Jack Britt at home Tuesday, the Patriots are set to play Cardinal Gibbons at Cary Tennis Center today (Wednesday) before returning to conference action Thursday when it travels to Raeford to take on Hoke County.

Isabella King is a member of the Pinecrest girls’ tennis team.

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