The North Carolina High School Athletic Association will hold its girls tennis individual regional tournaments this weekend at sites throughout the state. The top four singles and doubles teams at each of four regionals in the 2A, 3A and 4A classifications — two regionals in 1A — will advance to next week’s state tournament. Play is scheduled to start today and wrap up on Saturday.
From the five conferences in which area schools compete, 24 singles players and 24 doubles teams qualified by virtue of their finish at their respective conference tournaments. In the 2A West Regional, the Catawba Valley 2A Conference received six bids, while the Mountain Foothills 7 got five. The Western Foothills 3A will send four of each. Schools from the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference held separate tournaments for the two classifications with two singles and doubles teams advancing. Finally, the Western Highlands 1A/2A schools sent two of each to the 1A West and one singles and doubles team to the 2A West.
Below are the teams and players from the area, as well as coach’s comments about their players.
(Notes: Some coach’s comments were edited for clarity. Records listed were either supplied by the coaches or taken from matches listed on MaxPreps. The Mountain Foothills 7 and Western Highlands 1A/2A conferences did not report complete tournament results.)
4A WEST REGIONALArdrey Kell High School, Charlotte, 1 p.m.
Coach: Gina Kincaid
Singles: Victoria Villacorte, So. (8-4, Northwestern 4A Tournament runner-up)
Playing mostly at No. 4 singles, Villacorte came off the play-in bracket to qualify for the regional tournament. As a freshman, she and her sister Zarina qualified for regionals in doubles last spring.
Coach’s comments: “Victoria is consistent, strong and the most friendly player ever. She is loved by all, even her opponents, and will do great things in her next two years.”
Coach: Jennifer Pillow
Singles: Larissa Muse (8-0, Northwestern 4A Tournament champion)
Doubles: Jillian Russert, Sr. & Sienna Davidson, Fr. (6-2, Northwestern 4A Tournament champion); Amira Younce, Jr. & Madison Ogden, Jr. (6-1, Northwestern 4A Tournament runner-up)
Playing at No. 6 singles much of the season, Muse came out of the play-in bracket to win the 4A conference tournament championship. Russert and Davidson each were unbeaten in singles play. Playing No. 2 doubles much of the season, Younce and Odgen came out of the play-in bracket to reach the finals before their first loss to Russert and Davidson. Younce is in her third regional.
Coach’s comments: “Jillian Russert and Sienna Davidson are a force to be reckoned with. Their hard-hitting strokes, savvy net play and big serves make them tough competition. Amira Younce and Madison Ogden are quite the duo. Amira is patient and a backboard, setting up Madison for putaways. These two are cool, calm and collected. Larisa Muse is a freshman who came into the season, well, unseasoned. With COVID and other circumstances, Larisa had to get her groove back. Fortunately for her and Watauga she found it at the conference championship, upsetting everyone and taking the title. She’s the smartest player we have and super competitive. That’s a great combination.”
3A WEST REGIONALHickory City Park, 1 p.m.
Coach: Clint Zimmerman
Singles: Ellie Deacon, Jr. (4-7, Northwestern 3A Tournament champion)
Deacon entered the conference tournament at 1-7, but as the No. 6 (lowest) seed she won all three matches to take the tournament title.
Coach’s comment: “Ellie has strong ground strokes and has developed a strong serve. She is playing with good poise and consistency right now.”
Coach: Lynn Bruton
Singles: Charlotte Gardner, Jr. (7-8, Northwestern 3A Tournament runner-up)
Doubles: Cassey Vaught, Sr. & Kennedi Harper, Sr. (6-2, Northwestern 3A Tournament champion)
Gardner rode a fifth seed in the conference tournament to a runner-up finish to qualify for regionals. Vaught and Harper are in their second regional in two seasons.
Coach: Judy Moser
Doubles: Zada Little, Sr. & Maleah Lovell, Fr. (5-6, Northwestern 3A Tournament runner-up)
Coach’s comment: “It has been a joy working with Little and Lovell. They consistently display positive attitudes and strong work ethics. As a result, they have grown into a strong doubles team that excels both on and off the court.
FRED T. FOARD
Coach: Shawn Miller
Singles: Alexis Wolgemuth, Sr. (13-1, Western Foothills 3A Tournament runner-up); Anna Schmidt, Sr. (5-10, Western Foothills 3A fourth place)
Wolgemuth is looking for her fourth state title in four seasons after winning back-to-back doubles in 2018 and 2019 and adding a singles title last spring. Schmidt is in her first regional.
Coach’s comment: “Alexis Wolgemuth, a senior, is playing singles again this postseason after winning the 2A singles championship in June. She will be a contender at the regional. The regional is loaded with great players and I know Alexis is looking forward to competing against some of the best players in North Carolina. Anna Schmidt played her best tennis of the year at the conference tournament and is looking forward to continuing her great play at the regional.”
Coach: Neill Tapp
Singles: Emma Carver, Fr. (16-3, Western Foothills 3A Tournament Champion); Meghan Restino, Sr. (15-4, Western Foothills 3A Tournament third place)
Doubles: Anna Gore, Sr. & Natalie Gore, So. (10-4, Western Foothills 3A Tournament third place)
Carver handed Fred T. Foard’s Alexis Wolgemuth her first loss since her freshman season.
Coach: Jackie Finley
Singles: Ellie Holtzman, Jr. & Nicole Kozischek, Sr. (9-1, Western Foothills 3A Tournament Champion)
Holtzman is looking for her third appearance in the state doubles tournament in three seasons. She and Kozischek are the defending 3A West doubles champions.
Coach: Rollin Mackel
Doubles: Hannah McGuirk, Sr. & Molly McGuirk, Fr. (5-4, Western Foothills 3A Tournament runner-up)
Both players are at their first regional.
Coach: Corrine Rupp
Doubles: Elleigh Williams, Jr. & Sydney Templeton, Jr. (8-6, Western Foothills 3A Tournament fourth place)
2A WEST REGIONAL
Gardner Webb University, Boiling Springs, 1 p.m.
Coach: Candace Newman
Singles: Haylee Potter, Sr. (3-6, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament fourth place); Jayden Linebarger, Sr. (1-9, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament sixth place)
Both are making their first appearance at regionals.
Coach: Haley Whisnant
Doubles: Taylor Bostain, Jr. & Zoie Smith, Sr.; (6-3, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament fifth place); Braelyn Stilwell, Fr. & Marabeth Huffman, Jr. (5-4, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament sixth place)
Bostain returns to the regional tournament for a second time.
Coach’s comments: “Both doubles communicate great with each other and never give up, and this is what makes them effective teams.”
Coach: Randall Porter
Singles: Alexa Allison, Jr. (12-0, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament champion)
Doubles: Lizzie Sain & Ella Cecil. So. (4-3, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament fourth place)
Allison is looking to play in her third state tournament. She was fourth last season.
Coach’s comments: “Allison is a very exciting player to watch. Our goal is for her to go to the finals this year. Lizzie came in this year and has really helped to boost the team in overall performance. She is a consistent player and helps to lead the way. Ella has developed some since her freshman season back in the spring, but I feel she will have a lot more development over the next year and be ready to come into the 2022-23 season as a solid No. 3 player.”
Coach: Becky Godfrey
Singles: Paige Lever, Sr. (6-5, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament fifth place)
Doubles: Addison Fuller, So. & Miranda Valerio, Jr. (6-4, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament runner-up); Maggie Sherrill, So. & Emma Shokes, Jr. (4-5, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament third place)
All players are making their regional debuts.
Coach: Kenneth Hilderbran
Singles: Etta Godfrey, Sr. (10-1, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament runner-up); Megan Cody (9-2, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament third place)
Doubles: Chloe Norman & Bailey Huss (10-1, Catawba Valley 2A Tournament champion)
Godfrey and Brogan Heavner reached the 2A state semifinals in doubles last season. Norman and Huss are in their second regional together.
Coach’s comments: “Etta decided that she wanted to play singles, so our focus was on that all summer. She has done an outstanding job as leader and as the No. 1 seed. Her only loss for the season in either singles or doubles came to Alexa Allison (Newton-Conover). Norman and Huss finished off last season with a win over the No. 3 seed doubles team in the region and have just continued that success.”
Coach: Autumn Helms
Singles: Faith Webb, Jr. (1-5, Mountain Foothills 7 2A)
Webb will make her first appearance at regionals.
Elkin Municipal Park, 1 p.m.
Coach: Chris Cozort
Singles: Katie Cozort, Jr. (8-3, Western Highlands 1A/2A Tournament Champion); Maddison Powell, Jr. (7-4, Western Highlands 1A/2A Tournament Champion)
Coach’s comments: “Katie qualified for 2A regionals in doubles last year. She is an all-around athlete learning the game of tennis. Her only losses came in 2A competition. Maddison Powell is another all-around athlete making her first appearance in regionals.”