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The Maiden Blue Devils and Salisbury Hornets are back at it this year. The Blue Devils and Hornets meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Maiden in a rematch of the 2009 West region final in the 2-A tennis tournament.
Salisbury won the match 5-1 and went on to win the state 2-A dual-team title â€”Â its third in the past five years. The Hornets won team championships in 2006, 2008 and 2009 during a string of five-straight trips to the title match.
The Hornets and Blue Devils are ranked the top- and eighth-ranked teams, respectively, in the state right now. Salisbury started the season ranked No. 1 in the coachesâ€™ poll and stayed there while going 23-2. The Hornets beat top-ranked 3-A team Charlotte Catholic 6-3, and the two losses were to defending 4-A state champion Broughton and Asheville, a talented 3-A team.
Six of the Hornetsâ€™ players qualified during the weekend for the singles and doubles state tournaments. Katelyn Storey, Salisburyâ€™s No. 3, is the 2010 singles Western regional champion, and Joy Loebelin and Erika Nelson finished second in doubles.
The Blue Devils are also on a roll. Maiden lost its first two matches of the season, but it won 16 of its past 17 team matches. The only loss during that stretch was Sept. 13 against Hickory.
Kaylyn Key is the only Maiden player, or Catawba Valley 2-A player, to qualify for this weekendâ€™s state singles tournament.
The Salisbury Post contributed
to this report.