Burbage, Niederhauser tabbed WDN Tennis Players of the Year

Published 8:10 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Shannon Niederhauser playfully jumped into the arms of Davey Ann Burbage, pretending they had just won a big match, prior to an interview at the Washington High School tennis courts. When they sat down for the interview, the two got serious.
They shared that same mentality — joking around at times, but getting serious when the time called for it, all season. It certainly worked for the two. The Washington Pam Pack tennis players, who joined forces as a doubles team, went 11-3 overall and advanced to the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A regional tournament.
Because of their success, Burbage and Niederhauser were named the WDN Tennis Players of the Year.
Niederhauser shared in Burbage’s enthusiasm.
The Pam Pack duo played together for just six weeks. The two had other partners before they joined forces, and the move certainly paid off in large dividends.
Washington co-coach Michelle Elks, who was assisted by co-coach Beth Pippin, said she was happy to see Burbage and Niederhauser receive the honor.
Elks said the two used their abilities to form a strong team.
The two players used their athleticism to cover plenty of ground on the courts. Burbage also plays basketball and softball for Washington, while Niederhauser is captain of the swim team and also plays soccer.
It wasn’t strictly athleticism that led to their success. The Pam Pack players said their mindset played a big role.
The attitude carried Burbage and Niederhauser all the way to Barton College for the regional tournament. They opened with a 7-5, 6-1 win over White Oak’s Dominique Moore and Munazza Abraham. Rocky Mount’s Kate Gray and Carolina Gray were able to capture a win in straight sets over the Washington pair in the second round.
While happy to earn a victory at regionals, they agreed that a win in the Coastal Conference tournament over South Central’s Elizabeth Campbell and Molly Hosteller, the top two players for the Falcons, was the highlight of the season.
Getting to regionals was a far cry from Niederhauser’s preseason goal.
Along the way, Burbage and Niederhauser formed a tight bond. They clicked instantly, and their cohesiveness led to plenty of wins.