Lady ‘Cats defend sectional titlePublished 10:26am Friday, April 18, 2014
It wasn’t easy, but the Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats successfully defended their Class 5A Section 2 championship on the hardcourts.
BRHS’ girls’ team won eight of the nine matches they participated in, winning five of six singles matches and sweeping their doubles matches.
BRHS seniors and top two singles players Rosie Lamberth (No. 1) and Lindsay Langford (No. 2) ended up winning their singles matches and their doubles match handily.
“I’m really proud of the girls and the way they played,” BRHS girls tennis coach Tony Franklin said. “Rosie and Lindsay played really great for us. They led us.”
However, Lamberth and Langford’s teammates weren’t able to come by their victories as easily.
No. 3 player Brooke Baird had to erase several deficits to win her singles match, falling behind in the first set before forcing tie-breaker play and starting sluggishly there before ultimately prevailing. She later teamed with Aubrey Forbus to claim victory in doubles play
“She won a tough match for us,” Franklin said of Baird. “Brooke and Aubrey won a tough doubles match for us, too. They were up 4-2 in the first set, but they let it slip. They cruised in the second set before they fell behind in the third set before winning 6-4.”
The comebacks didn’t stop there, as No. 5 player Shelley Humphrey had to force a tie-breaker in the second set on her way to winning. Humphrey and Elizabeth Harvey teamed to complete the doubles sweep.
“The playing conditions were difficult,” Franklin said. “It was cold, windy and it was hard to play in, but the girls kept it together. They were able to claw back in it when they needed to, and I was proud of how they fought until the end.”
Next for the Lady Wildcats will be the AHSAA state tournament, which starts for BRHS’ girls on April 23. With a resilient win under their belts along with a second straight sectional crown, confidence is at a high for the team.
“We’ll be ready to play,” Franklin said. “It’ll be tough, as every team at state is a good team, but I feel pretty good about our chances right now. We’re going to get a couple of good days of practice in, and go play. It’s a privilege to have the chance to play for the state title.”