Carrboro-NCSSM bid for title; soccer playoffs to begin
Powerhouse meets juggernaut today in the East Region 2-A dual team tennis playoffs here and something’s gotta give.
A year ago, Carrboro (15-0) and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics (16-0) were part of the same dual-classification conference — the defunct Carolina 12 1-A/2-A — and both advanced to the state championship round in their class, NCSSM falling in the 1-A state title match, Carrboro losing in the 2-A finals.
Head-to-head, Carrboro carried the day in two meetings with the Unicorns and returns much the same lineup as the teams prepare to meet in today’s state semifinals at 4 p.m. at Durham’s Whippoorwill Park, 1632 Rowemont Drive, several blocks east of Guess Road.
But NCSSM has moved up from the 1-A to 2-A ranks and five of its six top-seeded singles players are new. Only Gabrielle Beaudry returns from last year’s team.
And since the two teams are champions of difference conferences — Carrboro the Mid-State 2-A, NCSSM the Northern Carolina 2-A — they haven’t met yet this season.
But it’s a no-brainer that this is a different NCSSM team than Carrboro beat last year and the influx of new talent shone on Monday in a 6-0 whitewash of visiting Greene Central — the same Greene Central that beat Carrboro for the 2-A title last season.
Here’s a look at the top six players, in order, for both teams headed into today’s match.
NCSSM will go with Lydia Juan, Gabrielle Beaudry, Jessie Huang, Rebecca Liu, Anna Xu, Rachel Xu. In doubles, which the Unicorns have been studiously avoiding by closing out matches in the singles frame, Beaudry and Huang compete at No. 1, Yuan and Liu at No. 2 and Anna Xu and Rachel Xu at No. 3.
Carrboro runs with Danielle Sawyer, Olivia Shaheen, Emine Arcasoy, Allison Hutchinson, Jessica Weiner and Abby Rader. In doubles, Sawyer and Shaheen play in the No. 1 slot, followed by Rader/Arcasoy at No. 2 and Hutchinson/Weiner at No. 3.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association broke new ground for its boys’ soccer playoffs in all four classifications, which officially begin today.
It should be noted that today’s opening date is not binding and is subject to change. Games are generally set to begin between 6 and 7 p.m. tonight but that’s also subject to change.
For the first time, each of the four attendance classifications — 1-A, 2-A, 3-A and 4-A — each feature a 64-team field, each broken down in to 32-team East and West regionals.
In each regional, all 32 teams are seeded, from 1 to 32, by a committee. With the 1-A classification being expanded to a 64-team field for the first time, some odd seedings cropped up, foremost among them, Louisburg of the Tar-Roanoke 1-A Conference getting a No. 6 overall seed with a record of 6-9. But Louisburg did finish 2-2 and second in its conference behind 4-0 and 16-3-1 Tar-Roanoke champion Granville Central.
As a result, Louisburg will host No. 11 Voyager Academy (12-8) today. In other 1-A action involving area teams, No. 1 overall seed Granville Central hosts No. 15 Princeton (2-15) and No. 5 Woods Charter (14-3) hosts No. 12 East Columbus (6-6).
In 2-A play, No. 5 N.C. Science & Math (14-3-2) hosts No. 28 Dixon (8-10-3) and No. 7 Carrboro (13-5-2), which finished second in the state playoffs last year, hosts No. 26 Bunn (9-9-1).
In 3-A, the area’s top team this season — at least in terms of record — is Chapel Hill. The Tigers’ 21-1-1 record earned them the No. 1 seed in the East and they’ll host No. 32 Cameron Union Pines (7-11-3). No. 16 Northwood (11-7-1) hosts No. 17 Gray’s Creek (12-8-1) and No. 31 Orange (9-11-1) travels to No. 2 Fayetteville Terry Sanford (20-1-1).
Jordan is the top-seeded team in the area among 4-A programs, but is seeded No. 5 overall in the East. The 14-3-2 Falcons host No. 28 West Johnston (10-11-1) at 6 tonight. No. 16 East Chapel Hill (8-6-3) also drew a first-round home game and will host No. 17 Fuquay-Varina (12-7-3), while No. 22 Northern (7-9-1) travels to No. 11 Wilmington Laney (14-4-2).