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WILSON — The No. 2 doubles team of senior Deonna Adams-freshman Aiyanna Pender weathered Charles B. Aycock High’s comeback and clinched a 5-4 triumph that enabled Corinth Holders of the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference to salvage third place in the eight-team Wilson Cup high school girls tennis tournament on the Barton College Tennis Complex courts on a hot Aug. 14 afternoon.
In winning two of three, the Pirates drastically improved upon last season’s seventh-place showing.
“I am very proud of the girls,” remarked Corinth Holders coach Shannon Lee. “They have worked very hard and this is a huge improvement for us in this (seventh annual) tournament.”
The teams split in singles with the Golden Falcons claiming the top three spots with junior Karlyn Ray at No. 1, freshman McKenzie Millard at No. 2 and senior Abbie Shackleford at No. 3.
Corinth Holders answered with wins from freshman Aiyanna Pender at No. 4, sophomore Molly Slemmer at No. 5 and junior Aislinn Anne Brown at No. 6.
Another deadlock resulted in doubles when CBA’s Ray-McKenzie prevailed 8-4 at No. 1 and the Pirates’ MaKensie Sawyer, a junior, and Brown ruled 8-2 at No. 3.
The courts belonged to the No. 2 tandems. Adams-Pender bounced to a 7-4 margin. However, Shackleford and junior Laney Reeves trimmed the CBA deficit to 7-5 and threatened to come closer when the Corinth Holders tandem stiffened.
Adams-Pender fared well in doubles in the Pirates’ three tournament matches, and Lee assured: “Those were the two we wanted it to come down to. Both stepped up and came through for us.”
Lee was convinced the heat matched last year’s intensity. Thus, the teams opted to play pro-sets instead of three-set matches in singles.
“Today, we handled the heat much better,” Lee said. “We had to work through it for sure.”
NJ falls to Wilson Hunt
Wilson Hunt took down North Johnston 5-4 in the seventh-place match Wednesday.
The Panthers and Warriors played doubles first, with North Johnston taking a commanding early 3-0 lead after sweeping doubles.
The Panthers’ No. 1 doubles team of Arial Pearce-Samantha Davis beat Hunt’s Ali Parbst-Kaley Gesell 8-2; Mayelly Oliveros-Ashley Bunn won 8-5 at No. 2 and Sarah Batten-Kacie Clark emerged with an 8-6 victory on the No. 3 court.
However, the early lead slipped away in singles, which were decided by pro sets.
Pearce beat Parbst on the first court 8-4 and, beside them, Davis grabbed a 3-2 lead over Hunt’s Cara Moss before Davis suffered an ankle injury and had to retire.
The Warriors then swept the remaining singles matches to claim the win.
Final day scores
FIFTH PLACE: CORINTH HOLDERS 5, C.B. AYCOCK 4
Karlyn Ray (CBA) def. Gianna Pettit 8-2; McKenzie Millard (CBA) def. Deonna Adams 8-1; Abbie Shackleford (CBA) def. MaKensie Sawyer 8-2; Aiyanna Pender (CH) def. Laney Reeves 8-4; NMolly Slemmer (CH) def. Courtney Harrell 8-4; Aislinn Anne Brown (CH) def. Abigail Wallace 8-0.
Ray-Millard (CBA) def. Pettit-Slemmer 8-4; Adams-Pender (CH) def. Shackleford-Reeves; Sawyer-Brown (CH) def. Harrell-Katie Parrish 8-2.
SEVENTH PLACE: HUNT 5, NORTH JOHNSTON 4
Arial Pearce (NJ) def. Ali Parbst 8-4; Cara Moss (H) def. Samantha Davis 2-3 (ret.); Kaley Gesell (H) def. Mayelly Oliveros 8-1; Emma Rand (H) def. Sarah Batten 8-6; Emma Johnson (H) def. Ashley Bunn 8-4; Carolina Vasquez (H) def. Kacie Clark 8-0.
Pearce-Davis (NJ) def. Parbst-Gesell 8-2; Oliveros-Bunn (NJ) def. Moss-Rand 8-5; Batten-Clark (NJ) def. Johnson-Vasquez 8-6.