CFNN Reporter Madisyn Hall

On Monday Cape Fear traveled north to take on the Rocky Mount Gryphons to decide who would battle Terry Sanford for the East Regional championship. 

This was a huge match for the ladies, and in a high stakes match like this one, stepping up to the occasion and playing their best tennis would be a huge factor for the Colts.

 “Nerves are always a major factor, but like I tell the girls, nerves are a part of sports and if you are nervous, so are they.  When you feel those nerves creeping in, just remember the strategy and execute to the best of your ability,” said Head Coach Chris Lucas.

On court one Brooke Bieniek took on Rocky Mount’s aptly named McKinley Battle. A battle it certainly was. Bieniek took a 4-6 loss in the opening set, but ‘battled’ Battle back for a second set win 6-2. With the sets even at 1-1, a third set tie break to ten had to be played. It was a fantastic match that exhibited every bit of talent from the players, but unfortunately Bieniek lost the tie break 7-10. 

Anna Piland faced off against Molly Morningstar and tore through her match winning both sets 6-0,6-0. Shae Bieniek played a consistent match against Elizabeth Harris, resulting in  a 6-2,6-3 win for Bieniek. 

“It was a really important win for us because we’ve never gone this far in the playoffs before,” said Piland after the match. “Playing a big team like them and performing how we did shows that Cape Fear is a program that will continue to show up in the state playoffs as a team, individuals and doubles teams.”

On the fourth court, Madisyn Hall faced off against Ana Weeks. Hall pulled off a 6-2,6-3 win. Andi Brinker played against Madelyn Girouard on court five. Brinker lost her first set 1-6 and her second set 3-6. On the last singles court Brianna Keen clashed with Hannah Richardson. Keen lost 2-6,3-6. 

After roughly 3 hours of tennis, Brooke Bieniek was the last player to finish her singles match. Due to the lack of lights at the Rocky Mount courts both teams had to pack up and move to courts on a nearby court in order to finish the match.

After singles the score was tied at 3-3, and the Colts had to rely on stellar doubles play to snatch the win.

State Champion duo Piland and Bieniek won 8-0 on court one against Molly Morningstar and Elizabeth Harris. Madisyn Hall and Andi Brinker paired up against McKinley Battle and Lauren Tedford and lost 2-8. Shae Bieniek and Brianna Keen took on Madelyn Girouard and Hannah Richardson and won 8-2. 

In the end after a long battle the Cape Fear Colts managed to pull through and win the match 5-4.

“I try to tailor practice based on our upcoming opponents, but it was difficult with Rocky Mount since we didn’t know too much about them,” said Chris Lucas. “We just practiced our main strategies that have been working all year and tried to perfect our game, playing within ourselves. “ 

With this win, Cape Fear now moves on to play Terry Sanford for the East Regional Championship. The winner of today’s match will go on to battle for the State Championship on Saturday.

“The girls have had some great battles throughout the season and they’ve learned from it.  Our team knows they can trust themselves in the big moment,” said Lucas. “We prepared for this match the same as we have for all the other matches, win or lose, we are going to play our best and give it everything we have to represent Cape Fear well.  

The historic season rolls along for the Colts! Come see them in action today as they take on their arch rival in another Battle of the Blues! Go Colts!