Trying to determine potential winners and underdogs in the girls' tennis championships.

Trying to determine potential winners and underdogs in the girls’ tennis championships.

The individual girls tennis championships for the N.C. High School Athletic Association will take place this weekend. The first and second rounds will be on Friday for most classes, while the semifinals and finals will be held on Saturday morning. However, 1A, which has fewer players, will only have a state title match on Saturday.

The singles draw for 4A gives the impression that all four regional champions could potentially reach the semifinals, while the doubles competition appears to be more unpredictable.

In the 3A division, the singles tournament is highly competitive, possibly due to players choosing not to challenge the current doubles champions. However, in the 2A division, players did not have a choice as there is a reigning champion in both the singles and doubles categories.

In the 1A category, it is highly likely that at least one school will have their first individual tennis champion, but which school will it be?

Next, a more comprehensive preview will be provided.

On Saturday, we have listed our top picks and underdog choices for the eight individual championships. In the singles and doubles categories, there are four favorites for 4A and 3A competitions, three for 2A, and two for 1A. Each competition also has one “dark horse” selection.

Several players have the potential to make it onto our all-state teams, which are announced a couple of weeks after the regular season ends. These teams include a first, second, and third team consisting of 12 players each, as well as an honorable mention team with six players.



  • Top Pick #1 – Teagan Reilly from Myers Park: This second-year student has only been defeated by one opponent in her time at high school – last year’s winner, Olivia Corcoran. Since Corcoran is not competing this year, Reilly is the expected frontrunner.

  • Favorite #2 — Samantha Slowik, Jordan: The senior is the reigning state runner-up and is 15-0 this year. She and Reilly could make for an epic final.
  • My third favorite pick is Allison Harris from Broughton, who has a perfect record of 17 wins. She has defeated both Jill Gruber from Millbrook and Sophia Catino from New Hanover.

  • My top pick is #4, Jill Gruber from Millbrook. In the “2020” season, which took place in the summer of 2021, she was the runner-up in the state competition during her first year of high school.

  • Faith Valentine from Lake Norman is facing a challenging path in the 4A singles bracket, as she will have to defeat Sophia Catino of New Hanover or Ella Davis of Charlotte Catholic to reach the semifinals. However, it would be unwise to underestimate her abilities.


  • Top Pick #1 – Jeslyn Pratiknjo & Eleri Pratiknjo from Marvin Ridge High School: Jeslyn, a senior, holds the No. 1 spot for the Mavericks and is the only player in the state to win more than two games in a set against Teagan Reilly from Myers Park. Eleri, a freshman playing at No. 2, has a record of 11-3 in singles matches.

  • Top Pick #2 – Julianne Izod & Carolyn Izod, representing Apex Friendship: Despite only playing together three times this season, the senior and freshman duo were able to secure a regional championship.

  • Top pick #3 – Mia Caruna & Diana Higgins from Leesville Road: The number one and number three players from the Pride have a record of 13 wins and 1 loss this year. Caruna was recognized as second team all-state during her freshman year.

  • Top Pick #4 – Ann Mason Moore & Agnes Shinn, representing Myers Park: These two players, ranked second and third on the talented Mustangs team, have only suffered one loss, which was against the formidable Pratiknjo pair.

  • Lucy Dimock and Caroline Morrison of New Hanover are a formidable team in the sport of tennis. While they typically play as the third and fifth singles players, their skills are also showcased as the second doubles team for the Wildcats. They have only suffered one defeat this season, at the hands of the duo from Leesville Road.



  • Top Pick #1 – Rennie Liu from Forestview High School: She has advanced to the quarterfinals twice and the semifinals once, in addition to leading her team to a second place finish in the dual-team playoffs. And to top it off, she has not lost a match this year.

  • The second favorite is Emma Carver from North Lincoln. Carver’s sole defeat was against Liu in the regional competition. In the previous two years, she reached the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

  • Top pick number 3 is Luci Falls from Lake Norman Charter. Despite her perfect record of 23 wins, she has been dealt a tough first-round match against Anna Piland from Cape Fear. Piland has an impressive track record with a doubles championship, a doubles runner-up title, and two dual-team titles under her belt. To make matters even more challenging, the winner of this match may have to face Emma Carver from North Lincoln.
  • Top pick #4 – McKinley Battle from Rocky Mount: The undefeated junior defeated Anna Piland from Cape Fear in the regional competition to claim the title.

  • Possible rewording:
    – Emma Shriver from Carrboro is a rising star in the Dark Horse tournament. With a good draw, she has a strong chance of reaching the semifinals at least. From there, the possibilities are endless.


  • Top pick #1 — Caroline Adkins and Kathryn Adkins from Fike High School: These two seniors are the reigning champions, no further explanation needed.

  • Favorite #2 — Eleina Moon & Anslee Falls, Lake Norman Charter: The Nos. 2-3 for the Knights are undefeated as the team’s No. 1 doubles squad.
  • Top pick #3 – Pauline Bui and Loren Galaviz from Terry Sanford High School have yet to be defeated as a doubles team for the Bulldogs.

  • Top pick #4 – Shea Bieniek & Andi Brinker from Cape Fear: The second and third ranked players from the Colts have only been defeated by Bui and Galaviz from Terry Sanford.

  • Dark Horse — Laura Holland and Lyida Holland, Franklin: The West regional champs are a bit of an unknown as the No. 2 doubles team for an undefeated Panthers squad.



  • Top Pick #1: Olivia Hankinson from Research Triangle. She went from being the runner-up in 2021 to becoming the state champion in 2022. Could she potentially win for the second time in 2023?

  • Favorite #2 — Jadan Rounds, CSD: The freshman went 11-1 in the state’s second-toughest 2A conference.
  • Third favorite player: Madison Utz from Pine Lake Prep. Their record of 8-4 may seem unimpressive, but keep in mind that two of their losses were to Jadan Rounds from CSD and the other two were against players who will not be competing in this tournament.

  • Ellie Spear from Holmes competed against Anna Katherine Medlin from Greene Central in a closely contested match that went to either a third set or a third-set tiebreaker.


  • Top Pick #1 – Eliza Perry and Ramsey Ross from Hendersonville: The reigning champions have returned and Perry has the opportunity to become a part of the elite group of three-time doubles champions.
  • Favorite #2 — Millie Wymbs & Cora Wymbs, Salisbury: They’ve only lost twice, and neither time to a 2A team.
  • My top pick number three is Katherine Southern and Victoria Zhou from Research Triangle. Being the champions of the Mideast region automatically puts you in the running for the overall title.

  • Sarayu Brundavanam and Ginger Wagner of Raleigh Charter are a formidable duo for the team Dark Horse. It wouldn’t be surprising if they make it to the semifinals.



  • Top Pick #1: Madison Darnell from Highland Tech had a close match in the third set tiebreaker against Lauren Lucas from South Point, who is a single state qualifier. This was her only loss in the entire season before regionals.

  • Favorite #2 — Manya Nallagangu, NCSSM-Morganton: She’s undefeated on the year and could give the Dragons their first state champ.
  • Elphie Spillman from Chatham Charter’s record of 10-7 may not accurately reflect their performance. While they did have four losses against 2A players and two against Brianna Viets from Triangle Math & Science, one of their losses was later avenged by Spillman.


  • Top Pick #1 – Brianna Viets & Sasha Korjova, Triangle Math & Science: Viets was recognized as an all-state athlete during her first two years at Cary High School. The mere fact of her being on the team could lead the Tigers to victory in the individual competition.

  • My second favorite is the team of Ava Darnell and Emerson Simmons from East Wilkes. While Mount Airy may have a strong overall team in the 1A West, these Cardinals consistently showed that they were the most resilient doubles duo.

  • Can Carrie Marion and Ella Brant from Mount Airy potentially face their East Wilkes conference opponents for a fourth time in the semifinals?