The North Lincoln Lady Knights ended a successful Southern Foothillâ€™s season on Wednesday on a positive note.
Sarah Long, Jordan Kinney and Caroline Farris were named to the SF 1A All-Conference team. Long won the Southern Foothillâ€™s singles championship allowing her to qualify for the regionals.
Long had a bye in the first round. Then in the second round, she beat Highland Techâ€™s Jessica Grantham 6-4, 6-0. In the third round, Long squared off against Candance Carpenter from Cherryville and won 3-6, 6-0, 7-4. In the championship, Long played Samantha Shepard from Highland Tech and won a contested match 3-6, 6-3, 7-2.
Knightsâ€™ head coach Julie Mills was thrilled for Long who persevered despite being down.
â€œShe played really well. To be down like that and come back and beat them says a lot of her ability. She just kept plugging away and never gave up, which paid off,â€ she said.
May Eisner/Nataleigh Hitt also qualified for the regionals. They also had a bye in the first round, then beat Highland Tech 6-0, 6-2. In the third round, they were pitted against No. 1 Jeanne Marie LaBorde and Jessica Eblen from Hendersonville and lost 6-0, 6-0. Despite the loss, any player or players who reach the third round automatically qualify for regionals.
Jordan Kinney also had a bye the first round. Kinney then faced Alex Lozowski from Hendersonville and won 6-4, 6-2. In the third round, Kinney played Shepard and lost 6-1, 6-2 qualifying her for the regionals.
Mills believed that Long, Kinney and Farris deserved their SF 1A All-Conference selection.
â€œCaroline and Sarah both received it last year and they played really well this year. Jordan went undefeated all season at 16-0. They deserved it, they played hard all season and all of the hard work really paid off,â€
The Knightsâ€™ individual records are: Farris 8-8, 3-1 in conf., Sarah Long 11-5, 3-1, Hannah Mozeley 10-6, 3-1, May Eisner 10-6, 4-0 and Nataleigh Hitt 14-2, 4-0. In Doubles: Farris/Kinney 6-5, 3-1, Long/Mozeley 8-3, 3-1 and Eisner/Hitt 14-2, 4-0.
Hendersonvilleâ€™s Eblen was SF 1A Player of the year. Kinney who had a perfect 16-0 record did not garner a co-player of the year honor although some thought she deserved it.
The Knights finished at 11-5 with a 3-1 conference mark finishing second behind Hendersonville who was 4-0 in the conference.
Mills, nevertheless, was proud of her girls.
â€œThey did great. They met every expectation that I had or they had as well. I couldnâ€™t ask for a better year to end this conference with.â€by John Mark Brooks