Maurean Adams of Laurel Park and Barbara Redding of Asheville led the Western North Carolina "lucky losers" squad to a southern sectional title in USTA's Combo Doubles tournament March 8-10 in Dothan, Ala.
The Asheville Racquet Club-based team, which also included Nancy Fish of Hendersonville, competed as combo doubles, which are made up of players whose combined rank is at or below 7.5. The United States Tennis Association ranks players based on skill level from 2.0 to 7.0 (professional players in the big world tournaments are 7.0 players).
The other team members were Dottie Mattern of Asheville, captain; Christie Stephenson of Waynesville, co-captain; Barbara Redding of Asheville; Lin Cannon of Maggie Valley; Merle Arcand of Black Mountain; Kathy Wrenn of Wolf Laurel.
Adams' team competed in the nine-state Southern Section. After winning the WNC division, the Asheville-based squad of three doubles teams advanced to the state finals in Wilmington.
"Our story has an interesting twist," said Adams, a 4.0 player on the No. 1 doubles team and a former HHS tennis coach.
The WNC squad lost in the state finals by "a small small margin." However, it's traditional in the nine-state southern region to award one state a wild card. North Carolina got the wild card and the WNC team traveled to Alabama.
"After working our way through our bracket beating South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana, we faced the other NC team in the finals," said Adams, whose doubles team lost the fewest games in the tournament. The N.C. mountain ladies won the rematch, sweeping the three matches and taking the southern regional title.
"The Lucky Losers took home the gold!" Adams said.