Senior Grace Deering from Charlotte Catholic defeated junior Nicole Spencer of Olympic 6-0, 6-1 to claim the SoMeck 8 tournament singles championship at South Mecklenburg High School.
In the doubles final, sophomore Sarah Yuan and freshman Hailey Simon of Ardrey Kell won in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, defeating the Charlotte Catholic freshmen duo of Rachael Martinson and Megan Leonard.
Deering and Spencer will be joined by South Mecklenburg’s Elizabeth Matulis and Abby Scheper of Providence, who lost in the singles semis, at the N.C. West Regionals at Hough High School on Oct. 18 and 19.
Off to the regionals
On the doubles side, Yuan, Simon, Megan Leonard and Martinson will head to the west regionals along with semi-finalists Molly Leonard and Rachael Tomchin of Charlotte Catholic, and Haley Tan and Anna Mattapallil of Providence.
Deering came into the tournament as the No. 1 singles seed after an unbeaten 7-0 conference record. She rolled into the tournament final without losing a set, and had little trouble against Spencer.
“Nicole (Spencer) is a great player, but I found my groove in the match,” Deering said. “We had some good points, but I came out with more.”
Catholic coach Jo Cabana said, “I’m just really proud of Grace (Deering); she’s a great player. She had a lot of confidence going in, and she is a true competitor. Grace has a really fine chance going into regionals.”
The doubles title was a battle of young talent, with sophomore Yuan the only non-freshman. After claiming the first set 6-2, Yuan and Simon got down 0-3 in the second set before rallying to win 7 of the next 9 games to win the set 7-5 and the championship.
“It was a close match, but in the end Hailey (Simon) and I came through,” Yuan said. “We work really well together. I’m glad to be playing with her.”
Ardrey Kell coach Laura Pratt heaped praise on her winning doubles tandem. “We are so blessed to have so much young talent here at Ardrey Kell,” she said. “When they got down 0-3 in the second set I just told them to stay focused. They didn’t go for a winner on every point, but were patient and consistent which allowed them to climb back into the set and eventually win it.”
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