Monday was the first day fall sports (with the exception of football) could play regular season matches. The Three Rivers Conference Girls Tennis teams not only opened play, but opened conference play. All 10 TRC schools are currently fielding Girls Tennis squads. With 18 matches on the schedule an early start was necessary.
South Columbus, one of the pre-season conference favorites, opened with a 7-2 win over Fairmont. Coach Brett Burroughs was playing without his #2 seed Elizabeth Koonce. The Stallion lower seeds stepped up to propel South to what Coach Burroughs described as a “match closer than the final score might indicate.” Also, due to the heat, humidity and a “wet-bulb” thermometer reading in excess of 90 degrees, the match did not begin until after 5 pm.
Whiteville started defense of its Three Rivers title with an 8-1 win over Red Springs. Red Springs was unable to field a full squad, resulting in the Wolfpack receiving three forfeits.
TRC newcomer West Bladen announced its arrival with an 8-1 win over West Columbus. West Bladen is coming off a 17-1 season with its only loss in the second round of the 2A playoffs. The Knights are expected to contend for top honors in the TRC.
St. Pauls defeated East Bladen 6-3. South Robeson, fielding a team for the first time in two years, postponed its match at East Columbus due to an illness suffered by the head coach.
South Columbus pitched the equivalent of a baseball no-hitter, shutting out South Robeson 9-0. The Stallions swept all nine matches by 8-0 scores. South Robeson is returning to Girls Tennis after a two-year absence. South Columbus faces West Bladen, also 2-0 in the TRC, on Thursday. West Bladen defeated St. Pauls 5-1 Tuesday.
Whiteville and West Columbus were locked in a tight battle when rains came and the match had to be suspended. Whiteville was leading 4-3 when the match was stopped. The teams will complete the match September 12 when Whiteville travels to West Columbus for the return match.
East Columbus and East Bladen suffered the same fate as Whiteville-West Columbus. East Columbus was leading 3-2 when the match was suspended. The teams will resume play September 12 when East Columbus travels to East Bladen.
In other TRC action Tuesday, Red Springs edged Fairmont 5-4 despite having only five players. This resulting in Red Springs forfeiting at #6 singles and #3 doubles.