CHARLOTTE – South Meck’s Jenna Thompson became the fifth girl to ever win all four NCHSAA championships when she defeated Green Hope’s Kate Andreini 6-2, 6-1 on Oct. 26 at Raleigh’s Millbrook Exchange Park.
Thompson became the first girl to win all four 4A titles since the NCHSAA went to four classes in 1985. She joins Laura Cowman (Charlotte Catholic, 1989-92), Julianne Treme (Salisbury, 1993-96), Jackie Houston (Kings Mountain, 1993-96) and Britney Cloer (Brevard, 2003-06) as the only four-time winners in state history.
But none can say they were perfect like Thompson, who posted an 80-0 career record with the win.
The victory brought with it a wave of emotions.
“I was really happy, excited and relieved all at the same time. But I was kind of sad, too,” she said. “That was my last match but it was really fun. All of my friends came, the tennis team came to watch me and they made a FatHead sign of my face. It was really good because it helped me when I was playing. The girl I was playing in the finals was from Raleigh so she had all of her friends there. It helped a lot having that support there for me.”
There was another special accomplishment before Thompson even arrived in Raleigh for the championship.
The Sabres went 10-7 as a team and made the dual-team playoffs for the first time in the recent past.
Behind their star, South Meck even won a playoff match before bowing out in the second round.
“I was excited to play with the team,” she said. “I’ve never made it when I was a freshman, a sophomore and a junior. It was cool to play with them one more time. I think everyone enjoyed getting to play together longer.”
Thompson, a Clemson commit, had received a bye to open the state tournament. She slipped past Apex’s Gabriella Cicin in the quarterfinals and Sanderson’s Juliana Craft in the semis in 6-0, 6-0 routs.
In the finals, Thompson played Andreini, a five-star rated recruit by Tennisrecruiting.net. Andreini is the No. 2-ranked recruit in N.C.’s Class of 2020 – behind Thompson – and is also an ACC recruit. Andreini headed to Virginia Tech.
“I’ve played her a lot and played her sophomore year at states, too. We’re good friends and usually play doubles together at tournaments,” Thompson said. “It was a good match. The games were close and the score wasn’t really reflective of what it was. We both played really well, but I guess I played better that day.”
As Thompson stood surrounded by her friends, teammates and supporters and hoisting her fourth state title plaque in the air, she said it all sort of hit her.
Thompson has capped off a perfect career with a fourth title in the sport’s highest classification.
Nobody has ever done that, and nobody has ever been as great as Thompson.
“I was starting to cry, everyone was crying and all of the parents were crying,” she said. “I was sad, but I was relieved and excited. I was really happy.”