Burton used that determination to take a 5-2 win over familiar Cumberland District foe Thomas Walker at the Virginia-Wise Humphreys Tennis Complex.
The victory gave the Lady Raiders their second straight Region 1D championship.
ANOTHER TOUGH MATCH
Regular-season champion Burton beat Thomas Walker 6-3 and 5-4 earlier the spring, but the Lady Pioneers bounced back to claim the Cumberland tournament title, 5-4 over the Lady Raiders.
Burton’s Megan Dockery said the loss lit an extra spark under the squad.
“The last time we played them it was a loss and that put a lot of pressure on us and a lot of extra hard work over the last week,” Dockery said.
The Lady Raiders’ only senior, Dockery beat Thomas Walker’s Emily Hollandsworth 6-4, 7-5 at No. 1 singles.
Dockery said she prefers to lead the team by her performance on the court.
“Even though we’re a young team, everybody knows what has to be done. This past week there was a little more concentration and focus,” said Dockery, who also teamed with Morgan Fawbush at No. 1 doubles for a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Hollandsworth and Ana Mancini.
Burton coach Laura Potter, whose team also includes three sophomores and two freshmen, knew Tuesday’s match was going to be a tough one.
“We have had some really good matches with Thomas Walker this year,” Potter said. “It was a fight.
“I think after that loss there was definitely a little more motivation to get back to the (regional championship) match and win after the loss in the district championship,” the coach added.
Burton picked up singles victories at No. 2, Fawbush winning 6-4, 6-1 over Mancini; at No. 4, Naomi Short defeating Julia Sargent 6-1, 6-3; and at No. 6, a 6-1, 7-5 win by Mallory Mullins over Savannah Hall.
At No. 3, Thomas Walker’s Aleigha Cope won by forfeit over Olivia Owens, who did not compete because of illness.
The Lady Pioneers also won at No. 5 singles, Dannah Saylor prevailing 6-0, 6-2 over Grace Owens.
OFF TO STATE
Burton and Thomas Walker both advanced to the VHSL Class 1 quarterfinals on either May 31 or June 1.
Burton will host the Region 1C runner-up at Virginia-Wise. Thomas Walker will travel to the Region 1C champion.