Augusta Prep’s task next season is to find two victories to go with Brooke Stevens’ easy-to-predict triumph.
Though the two-time GISA Class AAA individual state girls tennis champ easily dispatched her foe, the Cavaliers didn’t get those other wins.
Augusta Prep’s impressive season came to an end on Wednesday with a 3-1 loss to Deerfield-Windsor in the GISA Class AAA girls state team final at Newman Tennis Center.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t win it,” Augusta Prep coach Chris Dickson said. “But just getting here is good, and finishing second is even better.”
Augusta Prep, which won the state crown a year ago, had to deal with Deerfield-Windsor’s smart moves in the final.
With Stevens essentially assuring Augusta Prep a win at No. 1 singles – and she did dominate in her 6-0, 6-0 win – the Knights moved around their team members.
Because Hope Kitchen and Lucy Kelley, the Knights’ No. 1 doubles team, were state champions in doubles, Deerfield-Windsor’s top singles player could form a No. 2 doubles team with a teammate against Augusta Prep.
Dickson said that meant a lower singles player met Stevens at No. 1 singles, while the pair that would have been No. 2 doubles instead competed at second and third singles.
The move worked, with Paige Hawke beating Sophie Paulk 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and the two Knights’ doubles teams getting 6-2, 6-1 results. Those three wins came after Stevens’ speedy work gave Augusta Prep a 1-0 advantage.
With the Knights’ quick wins in three other matches, Augusta Prep’s Annie Whitehurst didn’t get to finish at third singles.
That was the most even match in the final, with many points ending after long rallies.
“That’s just (Annie),” Dickson said. “That’s the kind of match she’ll win. Though she was down 4-3, she would have won.”