The Scotland varsity tennis program had an unprecedented six year run in the early 2000’s, winning six consecutive conference championships before being unseated by Pinecrest in 2006.
Since that time, the Patriots have staked their claim as the best in the conference, winning the championship every year since.
But when the 2012 regular season ended last week, Scotland once again found itself on top after compiling a 9-1 conference record that gave them a share of the championship with Pinecrest.
The Fighting Scots’ memorable run continued at the conference tournament this past week, as three players qualified for regionals that are set to begin next Friday.
And in order to do so, Scotland had to get past a familiar foe.
“We set out this year with the hopes of competing with Pinecrest and we ended up with a split of the conference championship,” said Scotland varsity coach Jeanne Roller. “I’m proud of these girls for what they’ve accomplished, and the fact that we beat Pinecrest makes it even better. The Scotland and Pinecrest tennis rivalry has become our version of the Scots/Raiders football rivalry.”
Roller would select Munroe Buie and Sallie Wegner to compete in the conference tournament singles bracket which began on Tuesday. The fourth-ranked player for the Scots, Wegner entered the tournament unseeded while Buie received a first-round bye as the number two-seeded player in the bracket.
Both players would encounter Caroline Decker, Pinecrest’s best player and arguably the best in the conference, on their path through the tournament.
After Wegner defeated Purnell Swett’s Summer Jacobs in straight sets (6-0, 6-0), she would meet Decker in the second round. Wegner would be ousted from the tournament after dropping consecutive sets to Decker (6-2, 6-2).
Buie would shine in her tournament appearance, starting with a decisive two-set victory over Kailey Godwin of Purnell Swett (6-1 6-2). She would follow that performance with a semi-finals win against Pinecrest’s Paige Summer, also in consecutive sets (6-4, 6-4).
But in the finals, Buie would encounter Decker, who bested the Scotland senior and won the tournament in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
Scotland wasn’t finished yet, however, and they would see their greatest success in the doubles tournament bracket led by the team of Charlotte Laurent and Leslie Floyd.
The number one-seeded team in the tournament, Laruent and Floyd would not drop a single set in their entire run. After their first round bye, Laurent and Floyd would defeat the Purnell Swett duo of Larissa Lowry and Falon Strickland 6-0, 6-2. In the conference semi-finals, the Scotland tandem would see their toughest challenge as they battled in the first of two matches against the Patriots.
Playing against the Patriots’ Josie Lee and Kaitlyn Newman, Laurent/Floyd would require a 7-5 tiebreaker in the second set to overcome their third-round opponent. But in the finals, the Fighting Scots would win the tournament via a convincing victory against the number two-seeded Pinecrest team of Piper Davis and Brittany Jenkins 6-2, 6-3.
Buie and the team of Laurent and Floyd all earned the right to play in regionals which are slated to begin next Friday at Terry Sanford High School, starting at 2:00 p.m.
As a team, the conference-champion Fighting Scots will begin their 4-A state playoff journey against an opponent to be named on Tuesday October 16th. The playoffs are single elimination, and the match is slated to start at 4:00 p.m. at the Scotland County Tennis Center.