The Out-of-Door Academy senior Caroline Dailey defeated Bradenton Christian’s Haley Waldo 6-0, 6-0 to capture the No. 1 singles crown at the Class 1A-District 9 tournament April 2.
With the win, the three-time state champion won her fourth No. 1 singles district title.
Dailey then teamed up with M’Balia Bangoura to capture the No. 1 doubles crown, and helped lead the Lady Thunder to their second-consecutive district title.
As the district champion, Dailey, who will play tennis for the University of South Carolina next year, earned an automatic berth in the Class 1A state meet April 15 through April 17.
"It’s definitely an awesome feeling to be a district champion. Junior tennis is so different than high school tennis, so it’s kind of cool not only to win it for myself, but also for the school. It’s nice to be able to give back.
In the past, when I was in eighth and ninth grade, it was harder than it is now to stay focused for high school tennis. Junior tennis has helped me out mentally. I’ve matured a lot since last year. Now, when I’m out here, my goal is to try and get off of the court as quickly as possible. Focus is a big goal of mine. I still try to win, but I’m going about it a different way now.
Since I already signed, tournaments aren’t quite as important as they were with the recruiting process. I didn’t have as much going on this spring, so I decided to try for one more state title my senior year. I also wanted to try and win a state title as a team. It would be the first one in the history of the school, and I think it would be cool to be a part of it.
This is the best team I’ve been on. The difference is our depth. In the past we’ve been good at the top two and were able to pull out wins with doubles. Now, we’re securing wins with all of our singles. It’s kind of rare. It’s hard to find that amount of depth."