River Bluff tennis player Maegan Togneri, along with fellow senior Elizabeth Roquemore, shed a few tears Friday when they realized that was the last time they would be preparing for a big match with their teammates. It paled in comparison to the tears that flowed after Togneri realized her 3-6, 6-2, 10-4 victory at No. 4 singles was the deciding point in the Gators’ 4-2 victory over Spartanburg in the 2017 Class 5A girls tennis state championship Saturday at the Cayce Tennis Center.
“When Maegan was down, she knew it was going to take two sets to win,” coach Brian Lim said. “It didn’t matter what happened before. She was able to refocus and trust herself, trust her game. With her confidence and the support from the team, she pulled it out.”
River Bluff (21-4) picked up wins by Liyin Zhu at No. 3 singles, Kiana Thatcher (No. 5 singles) and the No. 2 doubles team of Roquemore and Shelby Byers to set the stage for Togneri’s heroics. Togneri lost the first set but won the second set 6-2 to force the tiebreaker. She lost the first three points in the first to 10 tiebreaker but rallied to win 10 of the final 11 points to give the Gators their first tennis state title in school history.
Togneri was unaware she could clinch the match with a victory.
“I didn’t know until I came off the court. It was amazing. The best feeling in the world. It gives me chills thinking about it,” Togneri said. “This is so awesome. I was here in the eighth grade, and this team has grown so much. It’s great to win it my senior year. The tiebreaker, I was down 0-3 and then got it in gear and played with my heart.”
A.C. Flora (21-1) came up just short of the Class 4A state championship. The Falcons dropped two third-set tiebreakers in losing to defending champion Greenville 4-2.
Raquel Acco and Megan Pleasant won at No. 1 and No. 2 singles respectively, but they didn’t get an opportunity to play No. 1 doubles for a chance to win the title. Greenville (13-0) clinched the match when the No. 2 doubles team of Kate Keller and Sophie Young rallied to win 6-7, 6-4, 10-7 over Caroline Coble and Bess Watson.
“It was an awesome season despite the outcome today,” A.C. Flora coach Amy Martin said. “We had a 21-0 run, beat several big 5A schools and had great tournaments. We just came up two tiebreakers short today.”
In the Class 3A final, Bishop England won its seventh straight state championship with a 5-2 victory over Mid-Carolina.
Elise Mills recorded both of the points for the Rebels (14-4) by winning at No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-2 and she teamed with Riley Frazier to win at No. 1 doubles 8-6 in a pro set.
River Bluff 4, Spartanburg 2
Singles: Maggie Cubitt (S) d. Claire Floyd 6-1, 6-0; Claire Coleman (S) d. Victoria Votion 6-4, 6-1; Liyin Zhu (RB) d. Elizabeth Yex 6-1, 6-1; Maegan Togneri (RB) d. Dawaysia Crocker 3-6, 6-2, 10-4. Kiana Thatcher (RB) d. Mary Lovett Pye 6-2, 6-4, Doubles: Elizabeth Roquemore/Shelby Byers (RB) d. Payton O’Shields/Grace Till 6-2, 6-3.
Greenville 4, A.C. Flora 2
Singles: Raquel Acco (ACF) d. Julia Price 6-2, 6-2; Megan Pleasant (ACF) d. Layton Powell 7-6, 6-4; Emma McFall (G) d. Elise Sandin 6-4, 6-2; Gracie Walls (G) d. Breland Gann 6-4, 6-3, Wylie Jopling (G) d. Karsyn Misenheimer 1-6, 6-2, 10-5. Doubles: Kate Keller/Sophie Young (G) d. Caroline Coble/Bess Watson (6-7, 6-4, 10-7.
Bishop England 5, Mid-Carolina 2
Singles: Elise Mills (MC) d. Lily Woods 6-0, 6-2; Eleanor Campbell (BE) d. Caroline Matney 7-5, 6-3; Jenna Santa Lucia (BE) d. Riley Frazier 6-1, 6-0; Crista Vroman (BE) d. Reagan Peel 6-0, 6-0; Mackenzie Penton (BE) d. Ady Ashmore 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Mills/Frazier (MC) d. Woods Campbell 8-6; Drew Bobey/Grace Michel (BE) d. Tandice Northcutt/Catherine Taylor 8-3.
Christ Church 6, Academic Magnet 0
Singles: Day Nuckolls (CC) d. Josephine Drake 6-0, 6-0; Lauren Allen (CC) d. Mina Schaafsma 6-1, 6-2; Sarah Allen (CC) d. Aileen Shi 6-4, 3-6, 10-2; Mary Cage Carter (CC) d. Abbi Hulsey 6-1, 6-0; Avery Nuckolls (CC) d. Mary Claire Newsom 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Paula Pieper/Abby Riddle (CC) d. Caroline Young/Tori Streetman 6-2, 6-3.