Lily Terwilliger CFNN Reporter

This week Paige Cameron, an instrumental part of the Cape Fear Tennis team, is the CFNN Athlete of the Week. This past Tuesday, Cameron played a monumental role in the win against Terry Sanford. She also pulled off a doubles match win against Overhills this past Wednesday. 

During Cameron’s time at Cape Fear, the tennis team has not been able to pull out a win against perennial PAC 9 top dogs, Terry Sanford.

 “The Terry Sanford girls grew up playing tennis, while all of us started tennis our freshman year with Coach Lucas,” said Cameron.

 They’re ranked 7th in the state. One word she used to describe the overall feeling was “exhilarating.” Playing them over the years, Cameron remembers feeling drained, not ever making up ground against them, and constantly feeling as though they were unbeatable.

Paige prepares for her partner to serve in a doubles match earlier this season.

It wasn’t until their #1 player Chloe Arnette from last years season beat Terry Sanford’s #1 player in a singles match. 

“It really showed us that the entire team had a shot and that it was possible [to beat Terry Sanford],” said Cameron.

New players, like Brooke Bienek, the Colts’ #1 player, have given Cameron even more affirmation that it was within reach to beat the Bulldogs.

Her singles match against Mary Anna Stiles lasted an astonishing three hours, one of the longest matches in Cape Fear history. 

“I hate that I fell short but it took forever just to get that far, and during that performance I really gave it my all and put out everything I could,” said Cameron. “My opponent was great, I gotta give it to her for that.”

Wednesday, Cameron and Thurmond took to the courts to battle Overhills in a doubles match. Coming off of their win against Terry Sanford, the two were confident for another win. “The ultimate strategy to win doubles is net play, if you don’t have good net play you’re not gonna win. Kensey and I have been working all summer on our net play, poaching, and making sure our shots are accurate.” 

Although they have completed their main goal to defeat Terry Sanford, Cameron still has some goals for the team.

 “As a team I want all the girls to keep doing what they’re doing, the team support, the cheering, and keeping the spirit up,” said Cameron. “We have had a really good season so far, and it wasn’t until Terry Sanford that I truly felt all the energy of the team and the girls really coming together.”

Personally, Cameron recognizes there will always be some things to improve upon as an athlete. “Lucas has been pushing Kensey and I to make doubles in conference so we have been working extremely hard over the summer to ensure our plays are set. I feel pretty confident as both of us have grown towards this goal.”

Without her coach, Cameron would not be the player she is today. 

“Lucas is the best coach you could really ever have,” said Cameron. “I started as a freshman playing tennis; I had never played before in my life. That was about the third time I had picked up a racket. He was very supportive and has always been there to help me improve, not only for me, but all the other girls as well. He’s always there to build you up and keep the team spirit alive. I give it all to him for what I’ve done, all the wins and losses, there is no disappointment in what I have done so far.”

Cameron is looking forward to the rest of her senior season with the girls, the team’s shot at the conference tournament, and their next match against Terry Sanford.