The North Lincoln Lady Knights’ run through the tennis season isn’t quite finished.
The Lady Knights took both the singles and doubles titles in the Southern Piedmont Conference 2A tournament last week. Those same athletes are playing for a state championship berth today at the 2A West Regionals at Gardner-Webb University. Senior Madeline Harrison took the SPC singles crown over Holly Vernon, her North Lincoln teammate. The doubles team of Serah Haley and Maggie Blythe won the doubles title.
The Lady Knights, the 2011 SPC champions, finished in second place in the 2012 Southern Piedmont Conference standings, behind 1A Lake Norman Charter. North Lincoln lost only one match this year. Harrison cited the team’s camaraderie as a factor in their success.
“We all get along really well,” she said. “We spend time together after practice hitting with each other. We wanted try out best and go for another conference title.”
North Lincoln made its exit from the 2A West Dual Team Playoffs on Monday with a 6-2 loss to Maiden, but No. 1 Harrison, No. 2 Vernon and the doubles team of Haley and Blythe all have a chance to extend their season further today.
“I won the conference champion title; it’s just the icing on the cake if I get to go to states,” Harrison said.
“I want to get to states, but if I don’t I’ll know that I had an amazing year and I tried my best.”
Harrison anchored the North Lincoln team in match play during the regular season, suffering only two singles losses. She needs to win two matches at the regional meet today to qualify for the state meet. She earned a favorable first-round draw in the regionals as a result of her title in the SPC tournament.
Harrison missed the regional tournament last year, but said she trained hard over the summer to prepare for this season.
“I did a lot of tournaments over the summer to get my confidence up,” she said. “My attitude has been better. I didn’t realize how much I had improved until I came back and started playing high school tennis. When you play in tournaments it’s a different level.”