The Lady Sauras tennis team finished their regular season 11-6, 8-3 in the Western Piedmont Conference.
“Our seniors have stuck together for four years. They’ve been a unique group that have done everything I’ve asked of them. They’ve supported their teammates and continued to improve. I think they’ll take with them a love of tennis that’ll carry on the rest of their lives,” said coach Darren Redding.
South is losing seven of their 14 players, four of them top seeds.
“It’s a process and you go through cycles. Their freshman year we went 0-16. Since then, for the past three years we’re 31-18, and 23-8 in conference play. This season each player on the team finished with a combined winning record. They’ve done a good job. I can’t help but brag on them,” Redding said.
Surry Central led the Western Piedmont conference this season and South originally tied with North Surry for second place. But in a determining 5-4 match the Lady Sauras clinched the second place slot.
“That was amazing to get because it came down to doubles. I told the girls they had to determine how they wanted the night to end,” Redding said.
Jenny Glidewell and Taylor Evans were down 4-1 and won seven straight games to close out that match 8-6.
Third seed Jenny Smith and Antoinette France took the court.
“Those two had been off and on chemistry wise all season as double partners. I pulled them aside and told them they had to learn to play together,” the coach said.
The duo stormed out to a 4-2 lead and won 8-2 against North Surry.
“It was a big win and they really stepped up for us,” Redding said. “They’re going to be a formidable team next year.”
Glidewell and Evans went on to become the WPAC tournament doubles champions defeating North Surry, Surry Central, and West Stokes. The two also qualified for regionals, and for the third time in their high school career the dual NCHSAA state playoffs.
Glidewall, Evans, and Smith were named All-Conference. WPAC Honorable Mentions went to Kaitlyn and Kristen Denny.
“This group of girls are very gifted academically,” Redding said. “I really wanted them to experience some athletic success in tennis and they’ve done that. They worked extremely hard and I’m very proud of them.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.