By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
CNHI News Service
Saturday, October 27, 2012 —
The Gray Stone women’s tennis team has been working on a season this year that has set schools marks as well as garner attention statewide. The Knights are ranked No. 2 in the 1A coaches poll and have been for most of the season, winning the Yadkin Valley Conference team title and sending players to regionals and to the state finals.
On Saturday morning, Gray Stone’s doubles pairing of junior Libby Fowler and sophomore Brooke Herlocker earned more hardware for the trophy case at Gray Stone Day, winning the school’s first tennis state championship title.
The pair brought home the 1A doubles’ championship with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Mount Airy’s Haley Thomas and Davi Barber.
Fowler and Herlocker had reached the 1A state finals tournament after winning the regional competition last weekend. The pair opened on Friday with a 6-0, 6-2 win over West Columbus’ Emma Burroughs and Logan Elkins, reaching the semifinals.
In the semis, Fowler/Herlocker faced off Mount Airy’s Jade Hughes and Elizabeth Dinkin,s winning 6-3, 6-1.
“We are ecstatic; I hope this is something we can build on for next week,” Gray Stone head coach Jeff Walter said in reference to the dual team tennis playoffs that continue at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at Chuck Morehead Park when the Knights host Bishop McGuinness.
Referring to a team title, Walter said, “We would like to add that as well. We are trying to show the rest of the state that we can play some tennis in Stanly County.”
On the individual side, Meghan Hedgepeth played in the state tournament, winning in the quarterfinals over Raleigh Charter’s Darden King 6-2 and 6-1. but losing to Mount Airy’s Jorday Jackson in the semis 6-2 and 6-2 in a match that Walter said that the score “did not reflect how competitive the match was.”