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Girls Tennis Area Player of the Year: Early preparation set up Currituck's Dover for success

Dover advanced to the 2A state championship tournament

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Currituck's Sarah Dover

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Monday, December 25, 2017

BARCO — Sarah Dover prepared herself for a successful 2017 season in girls tennis.

The multi-sport athlete at Currituck County High School locked in for the high school season earlier than in previous years. 

That head start propelled the senior to a strong fall campaign in singles.

Dover’s domination during the regular season along with success in the postseason made her the choice as The Daily Advance’s Area Player of the Year.

Dover, a previous two-time All-Area team member, was the 2017 Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament singles champion, the 2A East Regional runner-up in singles and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A state championship singles tournament in Cary in October.

Dover, who noted that she was appreciative of being selected as the Area Player of the Year, said that she started preparing for the 2017 season during the summer months.

Dover added that previously she would begin preparation for the season later in the summer near the start of the season.

She also noted that she didn’t completely stop playing from the end of the previous season, but played throughout the year.

“I think that I was better prepared coming into the season,” Dover said.

Dover posted a 15-1 record during the regular season.

For the majority of her matches this season, Dover was the favorite.

“I had to think that every match is a different match,” she said about keeping her edge.

That mindset allowed her to win the NCC tournament singles title. En route to the crown, she only loss two games.

“She’s just a very classy young woman,” Currituck tennis coach Vic Ramsey said. “She’s a fierce competitor. I’ve never seen her belittle her opponent. She always was respectful of her opponents, even when she was much better than they were. She works hard in practice. She’s a great teammate.”

Dover advanced to the 2A East Regional at Greene Central and was the No. 1 seed in the singles tournament.

Dover, the defending 2A East Regional champion, advanced to the regional final and faced North Johnston’s Nina Bohunska.

In a tough match, Bohunska defeated Dover 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 in the final.

Even though she lost, Dover had perspective on the match.

“I think that was the best match that I have played in my tennis career,” Dover said. “It was a really good match.”

“It was great tennis,” Ramsey added. “Both players were on the ropes and both players fought to the very end.”

Ramsey added that another coach said the match was the best regional singles contest at the tournament in the last 10 years.

“She was very gracious in defeat,” Ramsey said.

In the state championship tournament, Dover won her first-round match against NC School of Science and Math’s Adithi Rao 6-4, 6-2, but lost in the quarterfinal round.

Dover ended the 2017 season with a 22-3 overall record.

As a four-year varsity player, Dover was 76-12 in singles play and advanced to the state semifinal in singles in 2016.

With all of her success on the court, what stood out to Dover over her prep career were the bonds she made.

“I’ve made really good friends from tennis,” Dover said.

As for her future plans, it’s still up in the air. Dover noted that she loves both tennis and soccer.

Dover was the girls cross country area runner of the year in 2014, while being selected as the area’s top soccer player in 2017.

Dover said she recently visited the Salisbury University women’s tennis team in Maryland.

Ramsey, who just completed his 18th season as a coach at Currituck ranks Dover near the top of athletes he has coached.

“She is a once in a generation type of talent,” he said. “I enjoyed the privilege of being her coach.”

ALL-AREA TEAM

Sarah Dover, Currituck, Sr.: Area Player of the Year, Northeastern Coastal Conference Player of the Year.

Hannah Holden, Currituck, Sr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

Elizabeth Hewitt, Currituck, Fr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

Jessica Copeland, John A. Holmes, Jr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference Player of the Year and all-conference selection.

Emily Cross, John A. Holmes, Sr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection.

Anna Bass, John A. Holmes, Jr.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference selection.

Ashlyn Twiford, Northeastern, Sr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

Emma Teachey, Northeastern, Jr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

Haidyn Fairweather, Northeastern, Sr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

Olivia Sanders, Northeastern, So.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection.

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