Paige Cameron and Kensey Thurmond pose with the Team’s Conference Championship Trophy.

Curtis Coleman CFNN Tennis Reporter

Last Friday, Kensey Thurmond and Paige Cameron came in first place in their doubles conference finals for the Cape Fear Women’s Tennis Team.

Then, Brooke Bienek placed first in singles in the Conference final. The Freshman’s comet-like rise to the conference title came a s a surprise to many, but not her Coach, or her team.

“Not at all,” said Coach Lucas when asked if he was surprised at his star freshman’s victory. “She had an amazing season and has been able to fluidly adjust from match to match.”

Coach Lucas and Brooke Bienek celebrate her conference championship.

Cameron and Thurmond came into the conference finals as a number one seed, this meant that they were granted a bye in the quarterfinals.

“Having a first round bye was a definite advantage,” said Cameron, ” but that was not our ultimate goal. We came there to win, and we were prepared to do that.”

By not playing in the first round, the girls were forced to play the winner of Cape Fear’s Madisyn Hall and Daija Rucker duo and the Douglas Byrd doubles team. 

In a bitter-sweet scenario, Daija and Madisyn defeated Douglas Byrd, resulting in an All-Cape Fear Semifinal. 

“I felt like this [the match against their teammates] was a very tough match, because we all practice together and we were taught all the same strategies,” Kensey said about how squaring off against teammates was the hardest match to play in the conference. 

“We played the best we ever had together. Everything we have been working at all season finally showed in our win,” Paige Cameron said about their display on the court.

Paige and Kensey pose with their medals after the Doubles Championship last Friday.

With conference wrapped up, and the top spot taken by the legendary Cape Fear team, the girls head off to play their dual-team and regional matches.

“Dual-team matches are judged by how good the team does, while regional matches are based on how good the individual player does,” Cameron said, explaining the difference between the two types of matches.

At deadline, the team had already played their first dual-team match. The team faced Clayton High School and came out with a well deserved “dub” with a final score of 6-3.

This allows the team to advance past the first round of the dual-team playoffs, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by Cape Fear tennis since the 1980s. It’s safe to say that the team is making history for Cape Fear.

Now the team is preparing for their next dual-team match next week on October 22nd, while Paige, Brook, and Kensey prepare for the first round of regional matches this Friday.

The regional match will be held at Burlington, NC, and the women won’t know who they play until they arrive, adding an extra level of stress for the players.

The team goes into their next matches with high hopes and the determination to continue to scrawl their names in the Cape Fear record books as they progress further into the playoffs and show what Cape Fear can truly do!