MORRISTOWN — Already down a set and a service break, Hope Forbush hit the type of firm cross-court forehand that can potentially begin to swing momentum against a lot of opponents.
Instead, the Science Hill senior could only watch when Dobyns-Bennett counterpart Josie Rogers countered with an even harder-hit winner.
Forbush played well and helped generate many entertaining rallies, but ultimately offered no serious threat to Rogers in the Region 1-AAA championship Monday at Frank Lorino Park. Rogers won 6-1, 6-1 to claim her third straight regional title.
"I felt like I played really well," Forbush said. "Josie's a great player. I'd hit a good shot, but she'd hit one better. That's just how the game goes sometimes, but I'm really pleased with the way I played, especially in the last match of my career."
Rogers commended the competitve Forbush, who was still blasting a cross-court backhand winner while trailing 4-1 in the second set.
"She fights the whole time," Rogers said. "I cannot let up. ... Hope's a great player and we have good points. She definitely gets me moving because she has such a big wingspan. So she gets to a lot of my shots I didn't think she'd get to. ... She's so much fun to play, because we just get to bang it the whole time."
Rogers is proudly carrying a family torch. Her father, Bob, won three straight districts for D-B (1977-79), where uncles Bill and Tom also thrived. And her cousin Ben led D-B to a state title in 2003 and was an All-SEC doubles player at Tennessee in 2005.
"Those are some big shoes to follow," Rogers said. "It's kind of nice to have the last name."
Forbush family pride was obvious Monday, too. Forbush's brother Wes, who concluded his football career at Clemson last fall, was in attendance. Not that he could help Hope tackle the problems Rogers posed.
"I had her on her heels on a couple of points," Hope Forbush said. "But you know, she's athletic and she got to it. And when she hits as good of a shot as she does all you can do is smile honestly. And I'd turn around to Wes and just be like, 'Well, that was a good shot.'"
Hope will also attend Clemson, where another brother, Matt, also played football. Hope would've had many options for tennis, according to Science Hill coach D.C. Smith.
"It was definitely a tough decision," Forbush said. "I looked around at a lot of other schools that I could play tennis at, but in the end, Clemson just felt like home to me. ... I've been doing it for so long I'm just ready to open a new door."
Forbush plans to major in economics and minor in political science.
"She's a smart young lady," Smith said. "She's worked really hard."
Of course, hard work doesn't necessarily pay off against Rogers.
"Hope played some good points," Smith said. "Those are winners against a lot of other people."
Rogers was energetic and efficient while methodically dismissing Forbush's quality performance. Having beaten Forbush three straight times didn't blur the favorite's focus.
"With districts sometimes that's a problem in the finals because two people get to go to regionals," Rogers said. "But here it's do or die. I'd beaten her three times this season, but the fourth time -- if I lose it I'm not going to state. And for me, I stress out about everything. So I wasn't ... flat. ... I want to win every point."
Forbush beat Morristown West's Rachel Ramsey, 6-1, 6-3, in the semifinals Monday morning. Rogers beat West's Catherine Cook, 6-0, 6-0.
Science Hill's doubles team of Cameron Martin and Thomas Young lost in the semifinals, falling 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 to Seymour's Grant Wallen and Jontathan Fintak.
"They played strong ... a lot of competitive points played," Science Hill's Smith said. "For the most part, they played well. ... It was a real competitive match."
Coach Reedy Toney's Tennessee High swept the boys titles and the Lady Vikings' Meg Leonard and Jenny Dollinger won the doubles championship.
Tennessee High's Charlie Moseley played more than four hours on a hot day while defeating Morristown West's Parker Ashford in the semifinals (6-7, 6-3, 6-3) and Seymour southpaw Will Jones in the championship (6-7, 6-2, 6-2).
The Vikings' Matt Hensley and Jacob Marshall beat Wallen and Fintak in the doubles final.comments powered by Disqus