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Clarke holds off Generals

By Dennis Atwood - sports@nvdaily.com

BERRYVILLE -- Although their No. 2 and No. 3 players were absent, the Clarke County Eagles topped Stonewall Jackson 5-4 in a nondistrict girls tennis match on Monday.

The Eagles won the singles matchups 4-2, and the Generals took the doubles contests, 2-1.

In the No. 1 singles pairing, Generals junior Whitney Wilkins surged from a 5-4 deficit to prevail over Eagles senior Jodi Noland, 10-5.

"My backhand started coming alive and I just tried to place the ball and work it around, and tried not to just be a ball machine and hit it right back to her," Wilkins said.

"[Noland's net-play defense] discouraged me a little bit, but I still wanted to try it again. I've never really been that good at the net, but we've been working on it and hopefully it'll come around."

Generals sophomore Allie Johnson fell behind senior Katherine Roberts, 5-2 and 7-4 in their No. 4 singles matchup.

Johnson then turned it around to reach a 10-10 tie-breaker, which she won, 7-2.

"My forehand was really good today," Johnson said. "It had a whole lot of power to it and it just worked out really nicely."

On the No. 1 doubles card, Wilkins and sophomore Emily Litten paired off against Noland and junior Jade Mermet-Lavy for Clarke County (7-2).

The Generals (0-6) took an early 6-3 lead, which deteriorated to a one-game deficit before reaching a 9-9 tie.

With Litten showing little fear playing near the net and Wilkins looking after the back-court, the Generals won the next game to take a 10-9 lead.

The Generals took the next game to win the set, 11-9.

"I love playing at the net, it's my favorite," Litten said.

"[Litten] is a beast at the net," Wilkins said. "I stay near the back line and leave the net to her. This is our first year as doubles partners."

The Clarke County No. 3 doubles pair of Rachel Vinson and Tabby Chandler beat Sidney Tusig and Kaila Monroe, 10-3, to secure the 5-4 match victory.

The Eagles' No. 2, Emily Shaffer, was delayed returning from spring break, and No. 5 Jenna Parke was away on a college visit.

"Number three doubles prevails and delivers the victory," Eagles coach Ted Shulhof said. "That's one of the things that's cool about tennis. Your No. 3 doubles is just as important as your No. 1 singles."


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