It didn't take long for E.C. Glass of Lynchburg to take the suspense out of yesterday's Virginia AAA Northwestern Region final at Woodbridge. Glass lost just nine games in the first five completed singles matches en route to an 8-1 victory over Woodbridge.
But the win came with a price.
The Hilltoppers' No. 1 player, Spencer Brown, badly sprained her left thumb while trying to catch a Gatorade bottle thrown to her from outside the court during the first changeover of the No. 1 doubles match. The injury will force Brown, who is 16-3 this season in singles and 20-1 in doubles with partner Meredith Gravely, to switch from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed backhand.
"That won't effect me too much in doubles, but in singles, who knows," said Brown, whose injury forced her and Gravely to retire from the doubles match. "No matter what, I'm playing."
Glass (15-1) will host Central Region runner-up Douglas Freeman of Richmond, and Woodbridge (16-1) will travel to Central Region champion Mills Godwin of Richmond for the state quarterfinals, which begin Tuesday at 11 a.m. Godwin handed Glass its only loss of the season.
"We could've done a little better," Woodbridge Coach Lewis Forrest said. "It's good to get this far. Going down to Godwin is going to be another buzz saw. I know what's coming. I don't know if my girls know what's coming, but I do. Hopefully we can make a better showing."
Minutes earlier, Brown used 15 winners to down Woodbridge senior Mariko Esannason, 6-0, 6-1, in 53 minutes in the No. 1 singles match. Esannason committed 28 unforced errors.
"I was just trying to keep it in play, be patient and let her make the mistakes," Brown said.
At No. 2 singles, Gravely defeated previously unbeaten Emily Heberer, 6-0, 6-0, in just 31 minutes. Gravely is a perfect 16-0 this season and has not lost a set.
"All I did was try to keep it in play," Gravely said. "Second set, I tried to be more aggressive. Usually I come out hard in the first set and don't play very well, but I guess I learned this match."