published Friday, May 27th, 2011

Brkovic, Goodhue in final

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.—GPS’s Bronte Goodhue has battled for three seasons for the opportunity to play in a Division II-AA state singles championship match.

Her hard work finally has paid off.

Goodhue’s straight-sets victory Thursday over Baylor’s Samantha Caswell pushed the senior to the state final, where she will face another Baylor player, Sonja Brkovic.

Baylor’s Harper Caswell and Sarah Berchuck advanced to the Division II-AA doubles final, where they will face Hutchison’s Caroline Orr and Maggie Leavell.

All matches will take place at Old Fort State Park, starting at noon. Early-round matches Thursday were scattered between Old Fort and Vanderbilt, as the weather caused multiple rain delays and some shortened matches.

Goodhue also defeated Samantha Caswell in the state team finals Wednesday, although Baylor won 4-2.

“It’s good to advance to the finals,” Goodhue said. “I really wanted to advance to the finals last year, so I could face [then-teammate] Sarah Evans, but I ran into Samantha and she played a great match and beat me.

“Wednesday’s win was exciting because it involved the team. Today’s win was more of a personal goal.”

Brkovic, an exchange student from Germany, had no problems advancing past Becca Hanniford of St. Agnes and GPS’s Emma McCallie, losing a combined four games in the two matches.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to play tomorrow,” Brkovic said. “It’s my first time at state, and I have a lot of respect for Bronte because I know she’s going to give it her best and fight for all of the points.

“The better player will win tomorrow.”

Chattanooga Christian’s Ellie Henry and Gretchen Rowe eased past East Hamilton’s Taylor Johnson and Hilleary Chandler in straight sets but fell to Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Morgan Atkinson and Katherine Schofield in the Class A/AA doubles semifinals.

Collegedale Academy’s Alicia Salazar and St. Andrew’s-Sewanee’s Sadie Shackelford also won first-round matches before falling in the semifinals.

Cleveland’s Catherine Jordan lost her opening-round Class AAA match in singles, as did Kelsey Cantrell and Esha Rock in doubles.

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