The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 23, 2013

Whitehurst, Norville prepare for state tourney


TARBORO — The Tarboro Vikings tennis team's season is done, but doubles partners, Hannah Whitehurst and Kaylyn Norville, are preparing to play Friday at the Cary Tennis Center after earning a spot in the state playoffs.

Whitehurst and Norville advanced after winning two matches in the regionals Saturday, but they dropped the final two Monday. They had to go back Monday and finish the regionals because of the inclement weather.

In the first match Saturday, they defeated a doubles team from Whiteville 7-6, 6-2 and then later that day, they defeated at team from Lejuene 6-0, 7-6 (7-1).

They didn't fare as well though Monday. They won the first set of their first match 6-4, but the next two sets they weren't able to hold on. They lost set two 6-3 and set three 6-1. In their second match, they lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

"The girls had a lot of opportunities to win the match, but just couldn't capitalize on their opponents," Tarboro coach Wendy Armstrong said. "In my opinion all four of the teams are evenly matched in skill level. It could've gone either way in both of the matches."

Whitehurst and Norville will open play against Davi Barbour and Haley Thomas from Mount Airy Friday.

Tarboro's No. 1 seed Shayla Thorne earned her a spot in the regionals, but was knocked out in the second round. Thorne won her first set against Christy Sokolowski of Lejuene in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, but was eliminated the next round.

The Vikings second seed in singles, Michelle Nguyen, also qualified for the regionals and ran into the same problem as Thorne and was beaten in the second round.

Nguyen won her first set and then had to play three sets in the second round against Madison Wells of Gates County. Nguyen won the first set 6-0 and then the next two sets she played down to the wire, but eventually lost 6-4, 6-4.

As a team, Tarboro lost last week in the duals playoffs to Raleigh Charter. Norville was the only Viking to win her singles match, 7-5, 3-6, 10-8. Whitehurst and Monica Latham both lost their singles matches in three sets. Whitehurst lost 6-1, 0-6, 5-10 and Latham was defeated 6-3, 1-6, 3-10.

Tarboro finished the season 8-5 overall as a team and were 5-1 in Two Rivers Conference action.