North Hall’s quest for the state championship came to an end Monday afternoon.
The Lady Trojans traveled to Pace Academy for their second semifinal in three years, falling 3-1 to the Knights.
"They’ve been talented from the beginning, and their hard work brought them this far,” North Hall coach Robert Woodworth said. “It’s a really disappointing time right now, losing to a really good team, though, so we can’t be ashamed.”
Second singles Lauren Davis grabbed North Hall’s lone point of the day in straight sets (6-4, 6-1). Her match was the third to finish.
The senior was aware of the score and the surrounding matches. First singles Anna Montgomery (6-2, 6-1) and second doubles pair Ella Oxley and Lauren White (6-1, 6-2) lost in straight sets, putting the Trojans down 2-0.
Across the court, first doubles pair Sydney Patterson and Raquel Kallab was down a set, and third singles Baylee Turner was down 3-0 in the first set. The inevitable was nearing. But Davis was proud of herself.
“I had to be happy while I could,” Davis said.
Davis made her way to the bleachers after her match concluded, where she met coaches, family and friends with a hug. Tears fell as she realized her chapter as a Lady Trojan was nearing the end.
“This team, they’re full of my best friends,” Davis said. “I’ve known them over the past eight years, and we’ve always played tennis together. They’re a great group of girls.”
Woodworth did not shy away from praising Davis, who’s been a team captain all four years and most valuable player twice.
“She’s been in it,” Woodworth said. “She’s carried us.”
After losing the first set and being down 5-0 in the second set, first doubles pair Patterson and Kallab won on serve and broke Pace once, adding wind to the Lady Trojans’ sails, but the momentum was not enough to equalize the match. The pair lost 6-3, 6-3. That match punched the Lady Knights’ ticket to the state championship.
Patterson will join Davis on graduation day, May 17th. The senior co-captain pair have pushed North Hall girls tennis to new heights with three region championship titles, two state semifinals, one state quarterfinal and last year’s state appearance in the second round.
“It’s very bittersweet,” said Patterson. “It had to come to an end at one point, but I wouldn’t trade it. It was a good end.”