Clarke County girls clip Central in conference tennis tournament

BERRYVILLE — Clarke County High School’s girls’ tennis team took a measure of revenge Tuesday with a 5-1 victory over Central High in Conference 35 semifinal tournament action.

The Eagles (2-13), who won a tournament match for the first time in two years, took the victory without going to doubles.

Both Clarke County coach Ted Schulhof and his counterpart, Central’s Matt Smith, decided to let their girls play doubles for the practice. Those confrontations did not figure in Tuesday’s duel on the John Rixey Moore Tennis Courts at Chet Hobert Park.

“It’s exciting because it’s the first win like this for the team in two years,” said No. 1 singles player Anne Herndon, a sophomore.

In the premier match of the day Herndon topped Central’s No. 1, Lander Barbour. The scores were 6-4, 6-2.

Barber complained of a stomach ache afterward though her court countenance showed little signs of illness.

Certainly, Herndon can understand.

Herndon and Barbour, both sophomores, faced each other twice this season. Herndon won the first match, but in the second set-to, Barbour came back to win on a tiebreaker.

Like Herndon, Clarke County had lost to Central (3-12) once already. That defeat came on April 5 with the score 5-4 going in favor of the Falcons.

In their second match, play was halted due to weather with Central ahead 4-2. The decision was unofficial (teams must win at least five matches to claim victory).

The May 4 match was the one that went to Barbour, though Herndon was not feeling her best on that day. She was fighting strep throat and an earache.

“I felt much better today,” she said.

“I was kind of off today,” said Barbour.

Central’s only singles win came at the No. 5 position, which Adriana Sorto-Rojas won 6-3, 6-2.

“She’s shown a lot of improvement this year,” Smith said.

“Oh, my gosh since the first of the year … Coach has worked with us so much individually. He did it every day. I’m not saying others didn’t, but he has really helped me,” said Soto-Rojas.

Soto-Rojas was the only senior on the courts and, fittingly, took home an individual triumph in her final team tennis match.

“I’m pretty excited, I don’t really know what to say. I knew I was getting better earlier in the year when a girl beat me 8-6 and I came back to beat her 8-2. From that point, I knew I could do it,” Soto-Rojas said.

The Central girls will continue their Conference 35 doubles championships later this week. Clarke County visits George Mason in team tourney finals on Wednesday.

Contact Jim Laise at sports@nvdaily.com