Carter Leaves Records in Her Wake

HP's Chandler Carter is eastward bound to play for Wake Forest this fall. (Photo: Courtesy)
HP’s Chandler Carter is eastward bound to play for Wake Forest this fall. (Photo: Courtesy)

This spring, Chandler Carter has a chance to become the fourth Highland Park tennis player to win seven state titles during her four-year career. But that’s not all.

If Carter takes a Class 6A crown in mixed doubles in May, she’ll be the first to accomplish the feat in all three categories — singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

That would be the cherry on the sundae for Carter, who has been a part of three HP championship teams during the fall season and has taken three more titles during the individual spring season. “I want to get four. It motivates me,” Carter said. “I want to get one in all three disciplines.”

Earning a seventh state title would tie Carter with ex-teammates Margo Taylor and Connor LaFavre along with former HP standout Abby Stainback.

As a freshman, Carter won a 4A doubles title with Nan Porter. She won in singles the following year. And last spring, she took home another doubles title with Elizabeth Porter, this time at the 6A level.

The most dramatic of those victories came in 2014, when she trailed Saginaw’s Domonique Garley 6-1, 5-1, in the singles final, before staging an incredible comeback to win in three sets. “She never quits. She always leaves it all out on the court,” said HP head coach Dan Holden. “She’s a great competitor, and over the last four years, she’s been a key to our success.”

Carter is a former soccer and volleyball player who didn’t take tennis seriously until seventh grade. Unlike some other tennis standouts, she prefers playing doubles. “You have another person on the court. It’s good because you have someone supporting you,” Carter said. “Everyone on the team is really close and we all like playing together.”

She hopes her versatility, as well as the clutch scenarios she’s faced at HP, will be assets when she begins her college career next season at Wake Forest. “I try to stay calm under pressure,” she said. “It prepares me for college when I could be in the same situations.”

When the Scots were upset in the semifinals of the 6A state tournament last fall, it spoiled Carter’s chance to surpass her HP predecessors and claim eight championships. Still, that hasn’t spoiled her determination or confidence heading into the postseason this spring, when she will be paired with sophomore Phillip Quinn.

“It’s been motivating to make us work even harder,” she said.

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