Washington netters to battle Union Pines in Dual Team tourney|Both Pack and Vikings have unbeaten marks

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sports Editor

Washington dominated Coastal Conference tennis play this season, cruising to the championship with an unblemished mark.
The Pam Pack (18-0 overall) will face easily its toughest competition of the season in today’s first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A Dual Team Tournament. Washington will square off with the Union Pines Vikings (11-0), another undefeated team that won its fifth consecutive Cape Fear Valley conference title this year.
Of the 11 wins posted by the Vikings, 10 have been shutout victories. The team has a combined mark of 96-1 this season.
The match at Washington High School serves up at 3:30 p.m.
The Pam Pack is coached by Michelle Elks and Beth Pippin.
Washington is hoping for a better outcome than last year, where it fell 5-4 to White Oak in the first round of tournament play.
The Pack is led by No. 1 singles player Beth Batchelor, a junior, and senior No. 2 singles player Hayley Stowe. Both are undefeated in singles action, and unbeaten when they join forces in doubles play.
Also having outstanding seasons for the Pack are seniors Janie Page, Tierra Locklear, D’Lorah Pierce and Shannon Niederhauser.
Union Pines is led by senior Neena Wanko, who is 95-4 in her career and was the 3-A individual state runner-up last year.
The Vikings have had a superb season despite being young. The tandem of freshman Melissa Tally and Madison Kramer won the Cape Fear Valley doubles championship. Freshman Laura Cameron and sophomore Brittany Jones finished runner-up.
Senior Jordan Smith finished runner-up to Wanko in tournament singles play.
Like each of Washington’s starting six, all of the Union Pines players qualified for regional play.
Today’s winner plays the winner between the Rocky Mount Gryphons (15-4), the top seed from the Big East Conference, and the Charles B. Aycock Falcons (12-7), the second seed from the Eastern Plains Conference, in the second round.
Washington’s six players will be competing in the NCHSAA 3-A East Regional tournament this weekend at the Barton College Tennis Complex in Wilson.
In 1-A Dual Team tournament action, Williamston (12-5), the Four Rivers Conference champions, plays Lejeune, the Coastal Plains No. 2 seed. The winner faces Tar Roanoke champion Gates County in the second round.
Also, Bear Grass (4-4), the Tideland Conference champions, takes on Manteo (8-5), the Four Rivers No. 2 seed. The winner faces Dixon (9-2), the Coastal Plains champions, in the next round.