Terry Sanford’s women’s tennis team has a state doubles championship to its credit. Now the Bulldogs will attempt to add a team title to its haul of honors.
Last weekend, the duo of Pauline Bui and Loren Galaviz took home the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A doubles crown with a 6-1, 6-0 win over twins Caroline and Kathryn Adkins of Fike High School in Wilson.
The Bulldog pair lost just nine games during their weekend of competition at the Burlington Tennis Center en route to the title.
Their teammates will join them in Burlington on Saturday for the 3-A dual team final against Lake Norman Charter School at the Burlington Tennis Center.
Terry Sanford advanced to the final round with a 5-1 win over Rocky Mount on Wednesday.
Lake Norman had a little tougher time, beating Franklin 6-3.
Both teams carry unbeaten records into the finals. Terry Sanford is 18-0, Lake Norman 23-0.
The Bulldogs have a rich history both in doubles and team competition, but it’s not recent.
From 1992 to 1994, Terry Sanford won four consecutive 4-A dual team titles with little difficulty.
The school’s doubles dominance dates back to 1977-80 when twins Lisa Monaco and Margit Monaco won four consecutive doubles titles.
Other doubles winners were Elizabeth Williams and Claire Cheatwood Hedgecoe in 1993.
Jennifer Blue and Mandy Stanfield were the last Bulldog pair to win a doubles title in 1996.
With their state doubles title already secure this year, Bui and Galaviz hope to provide an anchor for the rest of the Bulldogs to hold onto as the team seeks to secure another championship for the program.
“They have worked together and played together for years,” said Bulldog coach Susan Brady. “There was no doubt from me that they would have a successful year.”
She credited her fellow tennis coach at Terry Sanford, Christopher Goodman, for doing a good job of assessing the strengths of the school’s doubles teams and assigning partnerships based on pairs that work well and complement each other on the court.
Goodman said it’s always been about partners, from the last Terry Sanford pair to win a state title up to the current crop.
“Most of the doubles pairs that have made it far in the states or won it all have played together for a while,” he said. “They started when they were playing in local tournaments at a younger age, to playing in the junior circuit, to actually getting to high school and attempting to win it all.”
He added the key to success of the tennis program at Terry Sanford through the years has been a passion from the various coaches down to the players. In junior tennis, he said, it’s largely the players and their families going to weekend tournaments.
At Terry Sanford, everyone embraces the team culture and builds off each other.
Doubles, in particular, is all about communication, Goodman said.
“When you’re on the court, the world is looking at you,” he said. “With doubles, you have that person to lean on. It’s very important that you have that relationship with your doubles partner and you are in one accord.”
Goodman also said the recent run by Bui and Galaviz to the state doubles titles has helped Terry Sanford in its quest for the dual team championship.
During the regular season, the Bulldogs weren’t heavily pressed in their matches and didn’t get a lot of team experience in doubles matches.
The state individual tournament gave Bui and Galaviz needed exposure to tougher competition and helped prepare them and the rest of the team for the dual team postseason.
Galaviz said having a shot at a team title after winning the doubles crown makes her feel like a part of history.
“Everyone is such a team player,” she said.
She feels she and Bui have a unique chemistry on the court since they’ve played together for so long.
“I feel the more we win, the stronger the bond is. I know when we set our mind to it, we can do it.”
Bui agrees that it’s great to have a chance to be a part of Bulldog history. She felt the team got a huge boost of confidence when it scored a 6-3 win over a tough Carrboro team in the third round of the 3-A dual team playoffs.
“They were a really great team,” she said. “The practice that we got was really great.”
While she and Galaviz have enjoyed their doubles title, she wants the rest of the team to experience what being a state champion means.
“It would be so much more meaningful to win state as a team because everybody would be able to experience it,” she said. “It would just be like a great team bonding moment and really help team morale.”