The Northwestern Conference’s 4A tennis tournament turned out to be marathon affair thanks to Mother Nature.
The event began Tuesday at McDowell, with the Lady Titans and South Caldwell, the league’s only two 4A teams, competing. Heavy rains shortened the event, with play stopping during the doubles championship match.
It finally ended at McDowell late Friday afternoon, with MHS sophomore teammates Paige Shaw, the top seed, and Madelin Smith, the second seed, meeting for the singles championship. Shaw took the championship with a hard-fought 8-6 victory.
Smith got off to a blistering start and jetted out to a 6-2 lead over Shaw. But Shaw rallied to win six straight points and the championship.
In the semifinal round of singles play Tuesday, Shaw defeated South’s Ysabella Villacorte 8-1. In the other semifinal, Shaw beat Zarina Villacorte, Ysabella’s twin sister, 8-2.
In the doubles semifinals, McDowell’s Korryn Shedlock and Autumn Boyles beat Molly Hagarty and Taylor Austin 8-6. In the other bracket, the Spartans’ Gretchen Hughes and Graci Neff defeated Galina Weaver and Mary Grace Smith 8-1.
In the doubles championship match, Hughes and Neff defeated Shedlock and Boyles 4-0 in a match shortened due to rain.
McDowell has qualified for the Regional tournament and will play at Ardrey Kell High in Charlotte Oct. 19.