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After splitting two regular-season matches against the Rocky Mount High duo of Caroline Broderick-Carson Browder, the Fike doubles team of senior Logan Adkins and freshman Chandler Hill knew what they had to do in Wednesday’s 3-A Big East Conference tournament championship match.
“We were just trying to be super aggressive at the net,” Adkins said.
The plan worked perfectly against the lob-minded Gryphons tandem as top-seeded Adkins-Hill never trailed in games in the 6-4, 6-4 victory. The duos split 8-5 pro-set decisions during the regular season with Broderick-Browder, the No. 2 seed, winning in Rocky Mount’s 6-3 victory at home on Sept. 10 and Adkins-Hill getting revenge in the Lady Demons’ 5-4 triumph at Fike on Sept. 26. That victory helped Fike earn a share of the Big East dual-team title.
“Today I think we were just a lot more confident in our groundstrokes and we knew that were were capable of beating them.”
Adkins-Hill, now 15-1, never fell behind in games but in both sets had service broken by Broderick-Browder, which dropped to 8-4, to knot the score 3-3.
For the Fike pair, it was a matter of being patient and aggressive at the right times.
“You have to just keep it in and not make a mistake,” Hill said of contending with the Lady Gryphons’ penchant for long rallies via the lob. “I think we both played the net very aggressively.”
It was Adkins’ fourth appearance in a conference championship. She won the Big East singles title last year and, as a freshman in 2016, teamed with sophomore Cameron Myers Milne to win the Big East doubles title on their way to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A East Regional championship.
In 2017, Adkins and senior Anna Blair Thomas lost to then Fike teammates Macy Hebbard and Jena Hebbard in the Big East final.
“It feels great (to win), especially to have her as my partner,” Hill said.
This is Adkins’ first turn as the veteran partner on a Fike doubles team and she was delighted to have Hill on her side.
“It’s special for me because I’ve always played with older girls,” Adkins said. “She’s fun and easy to play with and keeps me loose.”
Adkins, now with 147 career combined wins that puts her fifth all-time at Fike, said that keeping her younger partner from getting too nervous was her job.
“Yep, that’s my end of the bargain,” she said with a laugh.
Adkins-Hill advanced to the final with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Northern Nash’s Paige Ward-Meredith Vaughn in the semifinals Wednesday. Broderick-Browder earned the spot in the final with a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Fike’s Avery Rose Brown-Sophia Meszaros.
Brown picked up her 100th career combined win in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Northern Nash sophomore Chloe Harrington claimed the Big East singles title with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Rocky Mount’s Caroline Land.