Chloe Willetts of Reynolds is focused on closing out the individual portion of her high-school tennis career in style this weekend.
Willetts, the 2009 NCHSAA 4-A singles champion as a freshman, is back in the tournament for the first time since then.
Now a senior, Willetts has a chance to close her career with a second state title at Millbrook Exchange Park in Raleigh, where play will start today.
Also, Jordan Jackson, a Mount Airy senior, will try to repeat as the Class 1-A singles champion. And she will do so having to regain some confidence after losing her regional championship match to Hannah Archer of Lake Norman Charter last Saturday.
Jackson won her title last year in a match that took nearly five hours to complete.
Also this weekend, the NCHSAA cross-country season will start winding down, and runners from area schools will compete in six regional races Saturday. The top four teams and top five individuals not on a qualifying team will advance from each regional to state championships at Beeson Park in Kernersville on Nov. 3.
Willetts will take a spotless 57-0 career record in singles into today's play, and she will open against Campbell Cooper of Wilmington New Hanover in this morning's first round.
Willetts won the Midwest 4-A Regional last Saturday, beating Hannah Templeton of Greensboro Page — a sophomore and the 2011 state champion — 6-4, 6-3 in the championship match.
"I don't think I played as well as I could, but I pulled out the win, and that's all that matters," Willetts said Thursday. "I definitely feel like I am more ready than I was before I played regionals. I am definitely not as nervous, and I'm more confident than I was before I played regionals."
Willetts said that two other players she is preparing for are McKayla Zupan of Wilmington Hoggard — whom Willetts would meet in the semifinals — and Maggie Kane of Raleigh Broughton, who could draw Templeton in today's quarterfinals.
"I am so ready to go out there and compete as a senior and try to win," Willetts said. "I have to get ready to compete pretty early (today)."