GARNER — Clayton’s winning streak lives on, but the Comets had to survive a four-hour slugfest with Garner Wednesday afternoon to emerge with a 5-4 girls tennis dual victory and keep their 60-match conference winning streak alive.
The Comets (12-0 overall) improved to 10-0 in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference with the victory, building a two-game lead on second-placed Garner (11-2 overall, 8-2 conference). Clayton clinches its sixth consecutive conference championship with two more wins or a win and a Garner loss.
Tied 3-3 after singles play, Garner’s Nicole Root and Mandisa Ebri put the Trojans ahead with an 8-1 victory at No. 3 doubles against Clayton’s Spencer Rich and Stephanie Wilder.
The Trojans led 7-5 in the No. 1 doubles match before Clayton’s Carmelle Joyner and Katherine Riley reeled off four straight game wins to grab a 9-7 victory over Hannah Hamlin and Sarah Hamlin that evened the match at 4-all.
That left things up to Elezcia Singletary and Logan Boykin at No. 2 doubles for the Comets. Singletary and Boykin thrived under the last match pressure, topping Garner’s Elizabeth Pittman and Alyssa Clark, 8-4.
Sarah Hamlin edged Singletary to win the longest singles match of the day, 1-6, 6-0, 10-7, for Garner. The Trojans’ other singles wins came from Clark (6-2, 6-0 over Rich) and Ebri (6-0, 6-3 over Hannah Kellum).
Joyner was a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Hannah Hamlin at No. 1 singles, while Boykin topped Root, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 3 and Riley was a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Pittman at No. 4 singles.