Noble claims second women’s tennis title in South Stanly history

It was 1998 when the last women’s tennis player from South Stanly won the individual championship. That year, Dana Bowers earned the school’s first 1A title.

Twenty-four seasons later, South has its second.

At the 1A state tournament in Cary, Bulls senior Jacy Noble won two matches on Oct. 29, then claimed the 1A individual crown Oct. 30.

Noble breezed past her first opponent, Marion Jones of Jones Senior, 6-0 and 6-0, then faced a tough opponent from the regionals in Thomas Jefferson’s Claudia DeArment.

Playing two matches the same day left her sore afterwards, Noble said, but she said running cross-country during the same season “definitely gave me the edge when it came to endurance.”

The South senior advanced to the finals by topping DeArment in straight sets, 7-5 and 6-4.

Noble then faced Kancie Tate of Mount Airy, whom she beat in straight sets for the title, 6-2 and 6-3.

“I had played (Tate) before in regionals, and won 6-3, 6-0, but was nonetheless nervous,” Noble said. “She is a big hitter with great angles, but I just knew I had to stick to my game and beat her again.”

Both players adjusted during the match, she added, but cut down on unforced errors “and made her move more than I had in our first match.”

A five-sport standout at South, Noble also plays soccer and basketball along with running track and cross-country.

The senior said the school allows her to play multiple sports, but admits tennis is her favorite, having played it since the seventh grade.

“I did camps when I was I was younger, but didn’t start playing (seriously) until the seventh grade,” Noble said, which included the middle-school team.

Around the end of her sophomore year, Noble starting taking lessons from Kent Whitener, which she said was “when I saw my game shoot up a lot.”

Noble credits her family and coaches’ support in helping her win the title, who all helped her train while keeping a busy schedule.

She said her goal this season was to go further than last season, which was the opening round of the state finals.

“I’m amazed at how the season turned out,” she said.

She had a great conference season, she added, but it was at regionals where she thought she could go far.

“It was like I can go as far as I want to, as long as I just keep playing hard.”

Being just the second women’s tennis champ for South makes her “overwhelmingly happy,” she said, adding she hopes to be an inspiration for others to come out for tennis next season.