Waccamaw’s Rice earns individual state title, historic win

Senior wins AA-A individual tourney for 4th straight year

11/10/2012 9:44 PM

11/10/2012 9:48 PM

Waccamaw High standout Tolley Rice made it a career sweep Saturday, winning the Class AA-A individual tennis state championship for the fourth consecutive year.

The senior defeated Christ Church’s Olivia Lucas 7-5, 6-2 in the championship match at Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center at Otarre Pointe to become the sixth player in state history to win four individual state titles.

Rice is just the second player in AA-A to win four individual titles since the system went to an open format in 1995, according to S.C. High School League records. Bishop England’s Elissa Kinard (1996-99) was the first.

“It feels great,” Rice said. “I’m pretty sure that’s the record. So it’s pretty cool to make the record.”

Christ Church’s Ashley Tomason has the record with five straight singles titles (1977-82).

Rice won a pair of matches Friday and two more on Saturday. But the final – against a foe from one of the Warriors’ perennial rivals – was by far the toughest, Rice said.

“I played really well,” Rice said. “The girl I played in the finals is a really good player. I definitely had to play really well to beat her.”

Socastee’s Rachel Gresko reached the semifinals of the AAAA-AAA tournament, placing fourth. Myrtle Beach’s Jessie Dumas went 1-2.

Waccamaw’s Sarah Elliott went 2-2 in the AA-A tournament.

Rice and Elliott both made the all-state team and will compete in the North-South all-star event next week in Greenville.

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