LAND O'LAKES — Louise Downey looked relaxed in her foldout chair as she finished up paperwork for the next round.
What might have been a nerve-racking day for some coaches was simply another test in mental strength.
A forfeit before any play Tuesday dwindled her Nature Coast girls' lead to one point on the final day of the Class 2A, District 6 district tournament.
But it was simply another day of Nature Coast dominance with the girls claiming four of five singles titles and No. 1 doubles to advance to next week's region semifinals. Wiregrass Ranch also advanced for its second-place finish. Downey supported the new format after her undefeated team two years ago finished second at district to end its season.
"That's probably good," Downey said. "Both of them are very strong teams. You should be taking the top two. I like that a lot."
Sharks junior Rachel Conter earned an automatic state berth for her 6-1, 6-2 win over Wiregrass Ranch freshman Hannah Still at No. 1 singles and will be joined by partner Olivia Williams after they won at No. 1 doubles title.
Conter avenged an earlier defeat to Still, who has captivated the North Suncoast with her strong serve and smooth stroke.
Nature Coast entered play Tuesday with a two-point lead on the Bulls. After Hernando had to forfeit a doubles match, the lead dwindled to one before a ball was hit. Other Sharks winners included No. 2 Williams, No. 3 Katie Stellpflug and No. 4 Kaitlyn Gregg. By the time those matches were completed the Sharks had clinched the district title.
Still Amber Fahrner and Lindsey McElroy each finished second at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Hernando's Jennifer Gregg defeated Rachel Goad at No. 5 singles.
"We are really fortunate without having any seniors," Wiregrass Ranch coach Tammy Shaw said. "… We just had a great team this year."
Izzy Gould can be reached at
Team scores: Nature Coast 17, Wiregrass Ranch 10, Hernando 8, Zephyrhills 5, Gulf 4, Pasco 3, Hudson 1, Sunlake 1
Individuals: No. 1 Rachel Conter (NC) def. Hanah Still (WR), 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 Olivia Williams (NC) def. Amber Fahrner (WR), 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 Katie Stellpflug (NC) def. Lindsey McElroy (Her), 7-5, 4-6, 6-0; No. 4 Kaitlyn Bugden (NC) def. Francheska Panozi (WR), 6-4, 6-2; No. 5 Jennifer Gregg (Her) def. Rachel Goad (Gulf), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Doubles: No. 1 Conter/Williams (NC) def. Still/Fahrner, 6-1, 7-6; No. 2 Smith/Trovillion (ZHills) def. Larkin/Murray (Pasco), 6-3, 7-5