Wednesday, 11 October 2017 14:03

Lady Raiders Tennis Sending Four Players to Regionals Featured

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Senior Kathleen Pittman will join teammates Destiny Buie (senior) and juniors Jayana Nicholson and Greyson Way at regionals in Cary, N.C. Senior Kathleen Pittman will join teammates Destiny Buie (senior) and juniors Jayana Nicholson and Greyson Way at regionals in Cary, N.C. Photo courtesy of Michelle Morrison Parrish.

SOUTHERN PINES - After a back-and-forth season for the Lady Raiders that saw their final record end at 9-5 overall, and 9-4 in the Sandhills Athletic Conference (placing third in the process), the team headed to Pinecrest High School on Monday and Tuesday for the conference tournament.

Instead of a team tournament, the two-day contest seeds all singles and doubles competitors, according to coach Mike Way. Richmond’s Emily Parsons and senior Meredith Stogner were unable to advance past Monday in their respective singles matches. However, Richmond had two doubles teams that will be moving onto Cary, N.C., for regionals.

Fellow seniors Destiny Buie and Kathleen Pittman, along with juniors Greyson Way and Jayana Nicholson, placed fifth and fourth, respectively, and will start preparing themselves for the next round.

Way had said from the get-go the plan was to focus on the doubles matches because of the format used for the tournament that seeds everyone. In the end, though, it was all about getting the girls some experience.

"They did well in the tournament,” Way said. “They basically did everything you could expect them to do. It's pretty good just to make it to today (Tuesday). Our goal is to get them to regional and for the experience."

With the new conference alignment that took place before the school year started, the Lady Raiders will now play in the mideast region, as opposed to the east. Richmond will have to wait another week before traveling north to Cary.

Way said that the new regional is stronger than the conference Richmond is in, which is a feat considering Pinecrest was featured in both the doubles championship and the singles championship on Tuesday.

When asked what advice Way would give his girls before they begin regional play, he said that's tough because each player doesn't know who they'll face in any given match. 

Buie and Pittman, he said, are seniors and have never been to regionals, but Way and Nicholson competed there last year as sophomores and will know a little more of what to expect.

"You don't know who you're going to get,” Way said. “You could get someone who's really good or you could draw somebody that you're competitive with. Either way, it's going to be good experience for them."