Tant and Vega opened up the tournament on Friday with a unchallenged 6-1 6-1 victory to move onto the second round. In the second round, the match up was a little closer, but the Husky pair still found a way to win with a 6-4 6-2 victory. In the semi-finals, the Huskies were paired with the team that had defeated Curcio and Thomas and the Huskies competed strong in the first set, but came up barely short with a score of 6-4. In the second set, the Huskies’ opponents came to life and the Huskies lost the second set 6-1 to end their drive in the Tournament.
By advancing into the semi-finals, Vega and Tant earned the title of All-State players and is also ranked as one of the top four teams in the state. Coach Vickie Herman summed up the pairs’ success by saying: “They are both now All-State players and very deserving of this honor. Their doubles play is at it’s peak right now and their teamwork is outstanding.”
Following the tournament, Coach Herman was congratulatory and excited for her girls saying, “We made a great showing at the State Tournament. Rachel (Curcio) and Roxanne (Thomas) certainly proved they were worthy of being there by playing excellent doubles and winning their first round match by defeating a talented team, the number two team from the Mideast.”
Following the completion of the individual tournament, the Huskies returned to action as a team during the second round of the NCHSAA Dual Team Playoffs with a trip to West Henderson. The Huskies had a heart breaker match as the two teams were tied at the completion of the singles matches, then West Henderson was able to win two out of the three doubles matches to win the match with a final total score of 5-4.
In the singles competition, Rachel Curcio, Roxanne Thomas, and Courtney Bowers earned victories for the Huskies to claim the three points in the singles. Rachel Curcio won easily with a 6-4 6-1 victory, and Roxanne Thomas followed that with another good victory, 6-1 6-1. The third victory for Ashe came when Courtney Bowers won her first set 6-4 in a close match. In the second set, her opponent battled back and won the second set 6-4 to force a third set tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was a game to ten points and Courtney secured the point for Ashe with a 10-6 victory in the tiebreaker to give Ashe the needed third point.
Lorna Vega nearly earned another point for Ashe when she rebounded from a 4-6 loss in game one to win game two 7-5 to force a third set tiebreaker also. In the tiebreaker, Vega battled but came up a few points shy in the end and lost the tiebreaker 6-10. Ivey Tant faced a tough opponent in the number one seed slot and lost her match 6-2 6-0, leaving only one match left in the singles competition. Ariel Farmer, competing in the number six seed position was another close match. After losing the first set 4-6, Farmer remained close with her opponent in the second set, but also lost it once again 4-6 to give West Henderson their third point of the match as a team.
With the match extended into doubles play to break the 3-3 deadlocked teams after the split singles competition, West Henderson was able to claim the victory with wins in the first and third doubles matches. In the first match, Ivey Tant and Lorna Vega lost to a tough team 5-10, but Ashe saw hope when that Rachel Curcio and Roxanne Thomas won their doubles match 10-1 to tie the match once again at four points for each team. The third doubles match was a close affair for both teams. Courtney Bowers and Ariel Farmer (Ashe’s five and six seeds) were evenly matched with the number three seed, and the number six seed from West Henderson. The Ashe pair battled till the end of the match, but in the final games of the match, West Henderson was able to pull away to claim the 10-8 victory to give West Henderson a team total of five victories compared to Ashe’s four.
The loss to West Henderson concluded an amazing season for the Huskies. The season featured two doubles teams going to State Tournament, same two doubles teams finishing second and third in the Western Regional, and finishing first and second in the MVAC Tournament. Also this year, the Huskies number one seed, Ivey Tant was named Co-Player of the Year for the MVAC, and Tant and Lorna Vega was named to the All-State team. As a team, the Huskies completed a majority of the season ranked in the top-ten teams in the state, finished in the top sixteen teams in the NCHSAA Dual Team Playoffs, finished second in the MVAC to Surry Central (Surry Central defeated West Henderson in the third round on Tuesday to advance to the State Semi-Finals when they traveled to Salisbury on Thursday evening for the match). Congratulations to the Huskies on an excellent season!