The Lexington High girls tennis team enjoyed another highly successful season in 2008. The Wildcats went 18-2 overall, losing only to Hilton Head during the regular season, and to Class 4A title-bound, undefeated Wando in the Lower State championship match.
Here is coach Eric Jackson’s assessment of the campaign:
“I knew going into this season that we'd be a very good team, probably one of the top teams in the state. Having Taylor and Morgan Patterson transfer back into Lexington from Chicago added tremendous depth to what was already going to be a deep team. I knew the caliber player Taylor was and knew she could compete for the No. 1 spot. I wasn't sure how good her eighth-grade sister, Morgan, was going to be. She turned out to be a very solid player and has a very bright future. Playing No. 3 on this team speaks volumes to the level of her play.
“Knowing the above, I knew the girls needed to be challenged in their non-region matches, so I scheduled tough matches against AC Flora and Hilton Head. The girls played well in these matches and showed the potential they had, while finding some areas they could improve on. The girls pretty much breezed through the region matches, which allowed other girls on the team to get some playing time (something that will pay dividends in future years). The Belton tournament in early October put the girls up against some very good competition and was kind of a final measuring stick to see where we stood and what we needed to fine-tune in the last few weeks of the season. Once the girls clinched the No. 1 seed in our region, I knew there was a very good chance they'd get the opportunity to play Wando in the Lower State Finals (just the way the brackets worked out this year). My job was to keep them focused in the early rounds. I knew they had the talent to breeze through those rounds, but I didn't want them to focus solely on Wando and get caught overlooking teams that could beat them on a given day. They came through the first three rounds with flying colors (only lost 1 court and that was in a 3rd set tiebreaker).
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“The match with Wando was an incredible match. Taylor played very smart tennis and won easily at #1. Clair got blown off the court in the first set of her match, but didn't give up and came back to blow Wando's No. 2 girl off the court in the second set. The 10-point tiebreaker was closer than the 10-5 score indicated and I was impressed with the effort Clair gave; it was a match that really could've gone either way. I think Taylor and Clair are one of the best 1-2 punches in all of 4A girls tennis. Wando won that match by being better than us on that day on the No. 3 and No. courts (both of Wando's players are seniors and the experience showed). Sarah Kim played really well at No. 5 and won easily. The No. 2 doubles court is another court that really could've gone either way (4-6, 5-7). I'm very proud of my girls. I truly believe we were the 2nd best team in 4A girls tennis this season. Unfortunately, we were stuck in the half of the state that had Wando in it.”
“Next year looks to be another good season. If all of the girls come back and we can stay injury-free, we should be another solid team. Many of our younger players gained valuable match experience as well as facing quality matches in practice. There are also some good girls on the JV team that look to make the rise to the varsity team next year. Lexington girls tennis should be above average for quite a few years to come. After four years in a row of making the state semifinals, it's about time to take the next step and play for a state title. I'll keep pushing them hard because I believe in these girls. I know they have it in them.”
Lexington’s final season records:
Taylor Patterson - 7-2 in region; 11-4 overall
Clair Larkin - 8-0 in region; 12-2 overall
Morgan Patterson - 10-0 in region; 14-2 overall
Annie Konduros - 8-0 in region; 9-1 overall
Erin Green - 6-1 in singles; 6-0 at #2 doubles
Sarah Kim - 6-1 in region; 11-1 overall
Rachel Lovaas/Victoria Anderson - 3-1 overall
Note: Taylor Anderson is the only senior in Lexington’s top group.