Washington tennis wraps up regular season

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SNOW HILL — The doubles ensemble of Nechelle Everette and Logan Crisp making it to the finals of Tuesday’s 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship was expected. The senior duo fell short in a three-set match to North Johnston’s Lanie Headley and Abigail Morris.

Sydney Lewis and Mary Belle Johnson had a strong showing, too. They made it to the semifinals before running into teammates in Everette and Crisp.

What wasn’t quite as expected was Kayla Clark, a sophomore six-spot player for the Lady Pack, making it all the way to the championship round in singles competition.

“She is a No. 6 player for our team. She beat a No. 1 from North Johnston and the No. 3 from North Johnston,” coach Miranda Whitley said. “I thought that was really great for her.

Washington had to overcome a long, grueling day on the home court of Greene Central. The parity throughout the league was on display with the number of three-set matches that took place.

“I don’t think we really were prepared for it to be that long of a day,” Whitley said. “In years past, we’ve been done around 5 or 6 o’clock. … We’re not really used to that happening. There have been very clear singles and doubles teams that were the overall favorites to get through.”

The experience itself should pay off. If nothing else, the girls will be better prepared should they experience another long day come regionals, or beyond.

More importantly, it allowed the Lady Pack to get back on the court. The weather made it tough to get in much practice time at all. Not only did the girls get back in action, but they got to see some tough competition, too.

“It gave them good playing experience,” Whitley said. “It’s just good for them to play, especially with how the weather has been. It gives them a lot more competition, too, with playing the tournament like that.”

Individually, Washington had five of its top-six qualify for regionals, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Greene Central. As a team, the Lady Pack will compete in the first round of the playoffs starting next week, too.