Lexington opens the Class 4A state girls tennis playoffs Tuesday at home with a 15-1 overall record. The Wildcats, who went 14-0 to win the Region 5-4A championship, have lost only to Class 3A powerhouse Hilton Head – a 4-3 decision early in the season.
Eric Jackson’s team also participated in the annual Hall of Fame Classic in Belton this season.
“We've had a great season and have come through a very tough region (with Irmo and Dutch Fork),” said Jackson.
“The girls played very well in Belton at the beginning of October and I'm hoping that experience will prepare the girls physically and mentally for the upcoming playoff matches. If we can stay healthy, the girls have it in them to make a deep run in the playoffs yet again. I'll keep pushing them to give me all they've got every time out there. The team motto (100% effort for 100% of the time) hasn't changed. This is a great group of girls and I have a lot of confidence in their abilities.”
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The Wildcats starting playoff lineup features senior Taylor Patterson at No. 1 singles, sophomore Clair Larkin at No. 2, Morgan Patterson at No. 3, Annie Konduros at No. 4 and junior Sarah Kim at No. 5. Erin Green will team up with either Rachel Lovaas or Victoria Anderson at No. 2 doubles. If needed, Taylor Patterson and Larkin will also play doubles.
Morgan Patterson enters the playoffs with the top individual record on the team at 11-1, Larkin and Konduros both stand at 9-1. Kim is 7-1 and Taylor Patterson is 8-3. Morgan Patterson (10-0), Larin (8-0) and Konduros (8-0) all went through region play with unblemished marks.
The No. 2 doubles team is 7-0 overall.
The Wildcats have been consistently successful in the playoffs, especially since 2000. Over the past eight seasons Lexington has claimed one Upper State title (2002) and reached the state semifinals six other times. Jackson’s team advanced to the US finals in each of the last three seasons – losing twice to Mauldin and once to Irmo in the penultimate round of the playoffs.
This season, the Wildcats find themselves in the Lower State bracket for the first time.