WEST END — A trio of tennis players from Robeson County will continue their season at the NCHSAA Mid-East regionals after impressive performances in the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament on Monday and Tuesday.
Purnell Swett’s Abi Lowry and McKenzie Lewis will represent the Lady Rams at regionals on Oct. 20 and 21 in Raleigh at Millbrook Exchange Park. Lumberton’s McKnight Pope also secured a spot in Raleigh.
The Lady Rams have sent a player to regionals for 12 out of 15 years since 2003 and for the seventh consecutive year. This is the sixth time in the last 15 years that more than one player has qualified for regionals.
“I’m just so happy for Abi and McKenzie.,” said David Leek, head coach of the Lady Rams.
“Abi has only been playing tennis a little over a year and her athletic skills have helped her so much in tennis. Of course she’s a soccer standout, but she has been totally committed to tennis and has worked so hard to get better. Her serve has improved so much and her speed allows her to cover the court so well.
“McKenzie has so much power. … it’s just a matter of her controlling the shots. She really had a pair of long matches, including the one that qualified her for regionals on Monday. I think her conditioning was a factor. I think our players love going up against the Pinecrest’s, Jack Britt’s, Richmond’s and Lumberton’s because they know it’s going to make them better players and us a better team.”
Playing on Monday at Pinecrest High School and Tuesday at Seven Lakes Country Club, Lowry secured wins over Scotland’s Justice McCrimmon and Richmond’s Emily Parsons to advance to the semifinals. She lost to Pinecrest’s Caroline Landry and followed with a loss to Jack Britt’s Krishna Patel in the third-place match.
Cummings claimed wins over Lumberton’s Carleigh Parrish and Hoke’s Adriana Galaz to finish in fifth place.
For the Lady Pirates, Pope defeated Seventy-First’s Tykariah Harper and Richmond’s Emily Parsons to take sixth and secure her spot at regionals.
Tornadoes take down Stallions
FAIRMONT — The Fairmont volleyball team defeated South Columbus on Tuesday night, giving the Lady Stallions their first Three Rivers Conference loss since 2014.
The Lady Golden Tornadoes claimed the first set, 25-17, and dropped the next two sets before winning 25-21 and 15-4 to end the match.
Krishay Moore logged 31 assists and eight digs to lead Fairmont, with Kiara Page adding 15 kills and 16 digs.
Maya Bellamy tallied 13 kills, MacKenzie Johnson contributed 18 digs, Kaylee McMillian added 15 digs and Allison Pope logged five blocks for the Lady Tornadoes.
In Sandhills Athletic Conference action, Purnell Swett lost to Hoke and Lumberton lost at Scotland in straight sets.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.