The Pierce County Lady Bears split a pair of Region 1-AAA tennis affairs last week.
PCHS survived to hold off Brantley County 4-1 before falling 3-2 to Savannah Arts Academy in a battle of unbeaten region leaders.
“Brantley was a great region win for us,” said head oach Kathy Bradley. “It was extremely close and competitive. This matchup will be interesting when we face them again in the region tournament. We will have to play our best tennis again to beat them.
“Savannah Arts was a tough lose for us. They (Lady Panthers) have been our senior class’s nemisis for the past four years.”
The Lady Bears closed out their regular season Tuesday at Ware County.
The region tournament will begin the second week of April with the top four seeds hosting first round action. The semifinals and finals will be played in Savannah at the Bacon Park Tennis Complex.
On the girls’ side, Savannah Arts (8-0) will enter as the No. 1 seed. PCHS (7-1) is second with Brantley and Appling County (5-3) the third and fourth seeds. Savannah Arts will host the winner of “play-in” match between No. 8 Southeast Bulloch (1-7) and No. 9 Toombs County (0-8). PCHS will host No. 7 Tattnall County (2-6), the Lady Herons will host No. 6 Dodge County (3-5), and Appling County will host No. 5 Islands (4-4).
Lady Bears 4
Brantley County 1
PCHS captured two of the three matches that went the full three sets in a classic battle with the Lady Herons.
Liza Hurst recorded a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Caitlyn Morgan at No. 1 singles in what turned out to be the easiest victory of the day.
Megan Wright survived to beat Emily Miller 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) at No. 2. Deanna Jones let a one-set advantage slip away in falling to Lauryn Boyd 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (1-7).
Both doubles matches went three sets with the Lady Bears escaping in both. The No. 1 team of Serena Strickland and Haley Theis overcame a one-set deficit to beat Macie Allen and Lacy Cummings 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 while the No. 2 team of Regan Sikes and Sadie Marfill outlasted Breanna Boyett and Tori Blaisdell 6-4, 1-6, 10-6.
Savannah Arts 3
Lady Bears 2
Savannah Arts sweep of the singles competition secured the team victory.
“We knew we had to win at doubles because the singles matches were going to be extremely tough,” said Bradley.
Hurst fell to McKenzie Collins 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1. Collins has already committed to play tennis in the ACC next year. Wright lost a 6-0, 6-2 decision to Sara Putman and Jones lost a tough 6-3, 6-4 decision to Ariel Lipat.
“Liza played a great match against McKenzie and threw everything she had at her,” Bradley said. “Deanna stole several games in each set against Ariel and really had her rattled. This should be a great matchup in the tournament. Meagan played great this week against Brantley winning a close match and gave it all she had against in the matchup with Savannah Arts.”
PCHS swept the doubles action with Strickland Theis capturing their second three-set victory of the week at No. 1. The duo beat Peyton Vacala and Emily Daugherty 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The No. 2 duo of Sikes and Marfil blanked Sarah Copenhaver and Sarah Iocovozzi 6-0, 6-0.
“Serena and Haley really need to be commended for their effort this past week,” said Bradley. “I can always count on a solid performance from Regan and Sadie.”