For one year, the power structure of girls tennis in the Big 8 Conference shifted. That was last season, when Cedar Ridge swept Chapel Hill for the first time in school history, claiming its 1st-ever conference championship.
Now, it appears the balance of power is back on the southern end of Orange County.
In a heated match that saw several private discuss between the respective coaching staffs about words being exchanged on the courts, Chapel Hill defeated Cedar Ridge 7-2 in HIllsborough on Wednesday. The Tigers, who missed the state dual playoffs for the first time in recorded history last season, earned five of the six singles matches to end any hope that the Red Wolves would find a way to repeat. Cedar Ridge’s Ivy Gardner claimed the Red Wolves’ only individual match at #1 singles over Chapel Hill’s Hailey Polsky 6-0, 6-1.
Cedar Ridge’s Briana Cellini and Kate Millner team at #3 doubles for the Red Wolves’ only other win, an 8-0 shutout of Lauren Bolzan and Sarah Combs.
Chapel Hill earned wins from Gabby Kmiec, Gracie Kmiec, Lauren Bolzan, Cameron Pehlivanzade and Julia Ziaee. Polsky and Grace Kmiec captured the #1 doubles match, while Gabby Kmiec and Pehlivanzade won at #3 doubles.
The loss ends Cedar Ridge’s 13-match Big 8 winning streak. The Red Wolves went 12-0 in 2016, and hadn’t lost a Big 8 match since October 5, 2015 against Northwood. Cedar Ridge falls to 3-2, 1-1 in the Big 8 with a road trip to Orange coming up next Tuesday.
Chapel Hill improves to 4-0, 2-0 in the Big 8.