It was an up and down season for the Scotland High School women’s tennis team in 2011, one that was filled with success while still challenging the Lady Scots to reach new heights.
Scotland finished the year with a 9-5 overall record, placing second overall in the Southeastern Conference with an 8-2 mark in conference play.
Scotland’s two losses came to the league’s first place team in Pinecrest this year, but Scotland threatened the Patriots’ conference supremacy at the end of the year, reaching the conference tournament doubles championship game.
Scotland’s pair of Munroe Buie and Leslie Floyd fell in three sets to Pinecrest to finish second in the league tournament, but in the process, qualified for the state Regional tournament while helping Scotland qualify for the team state Regionals.
Scotland began the 2011 season trying to replace two of their top competitors, as the Lady Scots needed to find a new rotation to replace Eleanor Sojka, who graduated following the 2010 season, and junior Charlotte Laurent, who was sidelined for the entire 2011 season with a foot injury.
Scotland faced a stiff test in their season opener, falling to Union Pines 9-0 in their first match of the year, but quickly rebounded with a pair of wins over Jack Britt and Purnell Swett.
Scotland fell 6-3 to Pinecrest in their fourth match of the year, but just two games decided the outcome of the Lady Scots’ match with the Patriots, a telling sign that Scotland was improving.
“We had some great matches in singles, however, we fell short in a couple of matches,” Scotland head coach Jeanne Roller said after the Lady Scots’ first round with Pinecrest. “Leslie Floyd carried the No. 2 Pinecrest player into a tiebreaker in the first set and had the lead in the second set, but the match kind of slipped through her fingers. We lost another tough match in No. 6 singles. Morgan Haywood took her opponent to a third set tiebreaker, but lost on court No. 6.
“Sallie Wegner picked up a big win for us in singles action in No. 5 singles,” she said. “She battled back against two match points to win her match on a third set tiebreaker. In doubles play, Cori Newton and Leslie Floyd won big at No. 2 doubles and we also picked up a win in No. 3 doubles which hopefully will keep our players motivated.”
Scotland bounced back after the Pinecrest loss to thump Hoke 7-2, moving their record to 3-2 on the year with a 2-1 clip in league play.
Three in a row
Taking a break in conference play, Scotland dropped another 9-0 decision to Terry Sanford on Sept. 12, but rolled off three consecutive conference wins to push their record to 5-1 in the SEC.
Scotland swept Lumberton and Richmond in back-to-back games in the middle of September, closing their 3-game win streak with an 8-1 victory over Purnell Swett.
Roller said that she could see her team coming together after Scotland’s second match with the Rams.
“In doubles play, we looked solid again, with Cori Newton and (Leslie) Floyd handling their match easily in No. 2 doubles,” she said. “They put together strong volleys and hit some very impressive shots down the line. Sallie Wegner played great, especially in doubles. Her serving was very good and she was hard to handle.”
Pinecrest snapped the Lady Scots’ 3-game win streak with a 7-2 road loss, but by then, Scotland had already etched themselves into the Southeastern Conference’s No. 2 position with just three more conference games left on the horizon.
With just three regular season games left against Hoke, Lumberton and Richmond, Scotland again strung together a solid streak to finish the year, dropping just one individual match between the Bucks, Pirates and Raiders.
Scotland downed Hoke 8-1 on the road before earning a 9-0 win over Lumberton on Senior Day.
The Lady Scots closed their regular season with a shutout victory over Richmond on the road.
Buie and Floyd led the Lady Scots at the league’s postseason tournament, reaching the doubles final before falling to the Patriots’ Chrissy Nurnberg and Caroline Decker 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 in three sets.
“We came into the finals against the conference’s No. 1 seeded doubles team in Pinecrest and we started off really well,” Roller said. “We were really strong and took the first set and picked up the first two games in the second set, but, Pinecrest battled back. We started tightening up and played more not to lose and it allowed Pinecrest to come back and take the second set. In the third set, we had some good points and some good rallies, but Pinecrest was able to hold us off and take the last set.”
Wegner led Scotland in singles tournament play with a first round win over Purnell Swett’s Falon Strickland, while Scotland’s Kathleen Ralls fell in the first round of the singles bracket in a three set loss to Richmond’s Maegan Davis.
Hannah Cox and Morgan Haywood, the Lady Scots’ No. 2 doubles team, fell 6-7 (9-11) to Richmond’s Courtney Pope and Caroline Kirkland in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Buie and Floyd’s finish at the conference tournament earned the pair a spot in the North Carolina 4-A Individual Doubles Regional event, where they fell in the first round of the tournament to end their season.
Scotland’s team season came to an end Oct. 18, as they dropped a 6-0 decision to East Chapel Hill High School in the first round of the state tournament.
“Even though we didn’t come out with a win (against Chapel Hill), our girls have a lot to be proud of,” Roller said. “I’m proud of all that they’ve accomplished this year and their second place finish in the Southeastern Conference.”
Buie and Floyd were honored at the end of the season with spots on the league’s all-conference team, while Wegner was named to the honorable mention list.