It’s not a new story or even an uncommon development by any means. But no matter how often it happens, when two teams that could potentially be playing for a state title meet much earlier in the playoffs, it’s not ideal for anyone involved.
Western Albemarle and Cave Spring girls tennis locked horns Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s state championship match won by the Knights and it went down to the wire again this time as Cave Spring pulled out a 5-3 victory over the Warriors in the Region 3A West semifinals. The loss ends Western’s campaign at a sterling 18-1 mark while the defending state champion Knights advance to the region final and earns a state tournament bid.
“We are disappointed for sure, and it was a tough draw to play them in regional semi, but that’s how the draws go in tennis,” said Western coach Ellen Markowitz via email. “It felt like a state final out there.”
The Warriors fell into a 3-0 hole in singles before rallying to even the match at 3-3 with the bottom half of the ladder stepping up in a big way as Savannah Diamond, Rosy Ix and Molly Servine won tough matches to give the Warriors a shot going into doubles.
“(Cave Spring is) an outstanding team, and have actually improved from last year,” Markowitz said. “Their top three are awesome again and their 4-6 are even better this year.”
Western fought during doubles, with Maddy Ix and Hannah Kearns battling Fallon and Reagan Delp 7-5 in the first set and then 6-4 in the second set.
“Maddy and Hannah played their best (doubles) of the year against the Delps and pushed them hard, just came up a little short,” Markowitz said. “It was a terrific match with great points, high level dubs, very well played.”
Diamond and Lauren Kearns battled as well, falling 6-3, 6-2 to Caitlin Carter and Christy Goldsmith.
“We’ll learn from it, and grow and aim to be back next year,” Markowitz said.
Ix and Hannah Kearns still have some work to do, they’ll play in the regional singles and doubles tournament starting May 30.
Cave Spring 5, Western Albemarle 3
- Fallon Delp (CS) def. Maddy Ix, 6-2, 6-0
- Caitlin Carter (CS) def. Hannah Kearns 7-6 (7), 6-0
- Reagan Delp (CS) def. Lauren Kearns 6-0, 6-0
- Savannah Diamond (WAHS) def. Christy Goldsmith, 7-6 (1), 6-4
- Rosy Ix (WAHS) def. Maha Ali, 6-1, 6-2
- Molly Servine (WAHS) def. Grace Holderman 7-6 (3), 6-4
- Delp/Delp (CS) def. Ix, M/Kearns, H. 7-5, 6-4
- Carter/Goldsmith (CS) def. Kearns, L/Diamond, 6-3, 6-2
- Ix, M./Servine v. Ali/Holderman, DNF