Brevard blowing away tennis competition

Brevard blowing away tennis competition

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Brevard blowing away tennis competition

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BREVARD

Mike Vandegrift has been around Transylvania County tennis for a long time.

He and his wife, Bonnie, have owned the Brevard Health & Racquet Club for nearly two decades in addition to years of coaching high school boys and girls.

And even Vandegrift is taken aback by some of the things he is seeing out of the undefeated Brevard girls this fall. The Blue Devils entered their final regular-season match on Wednesday against Pisgah with a peerless 14-0 record and 13-0 mark in the Western North Carolina Athletic Conference.

Four of Brevard’s players — Kathleen Elliott, Emma McLeod and the doubles team of Anna Fuller and Allie Williams — have been involved in golden matches. That means the players did not lose a point, much less a game or set in shutout wins.

“About every 10 years, I’ll hear someone say they had a golden match,” Vandegrift said.

“But it had never happened here at the high school until this year. And we’ve had three of them.”

Depth is Brevard’s biggest intangible.

Coming into Wednesday, the team’s only senior, Hunter Hall (14-1), had lost her lone match at No. 1 singles to Asheville High’s Alix Theodossiou.

Taylor Snowdon (13-0) is undefeated in the No. 2 spot, while No. 3 McLeod (14-0), No. 4 Williams (14-1), No. 5 Fuller (14-0) and No. 6 Elliott (14-0) are all perfect or close to it as well.

“Every since I was a freshman, we’ve gotten progressively better,” Hall said.

“It’s pretty awesome to see what we’ve done. We’re a good group of friends and coach thinks we’ve got a really good shot a state. We have high hopes.”

Indeed, Brevard has been No. 2 in the N.C. Tennis Coaches Association’s 2-A rankings behind defending state champion Salisbury all season long, but would have homecourt advantage for a potential Western Regional championship match later this month.

The Golden Hornets beat the Blue Devils by a decisive 8-1 score in the 2011 playoffs.

“I think we’re going to do well (in the postseason),” Vandegrift said.

“It’s a lucky year for us that we get to stay here instead of travel. We wouldn’t play Salisbury until the state semifinals and I think we’ve got a really good shot. They lost their No. 1 and No. 3 (to graduation) and we’re the same team.”

Roberson’s 2008 state-championship in 3-A was the last won by a WNC school in dual team competition.

The WNCAC individual tournament begins Thursday at Brevard College.

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