High School Sports

A.C. Flora ousts Greenville in tennis playoffs

A.C. Flora High arrived at the Class 3A tennis playoffs Thursday playing exactly the way it hoped.

That spelled bad news for Greenville.

The Falcons rattled off their 11th consecutive win, ousting the visiting Red Raiders 6-0 in a first-round match at the Richland County Tennis Center.

Five of Flora’s wins came in straight sets with only the No. 1 singles battle between Flora’s Caroline deLoach and Greenville’s Christine Ingram needing a tiebreaker to decide things.

"Our girls performed great,’’ Flora coach John Woods said. ``They are peaking right now, which is good. We had a rough start to the year so I wasn’t sure how the season was going to hold up. But the girls are playing great tennis these days. I hope we can carry it on to Tuesday.’’

Flora’s dominance was most evident at Nos. 3 and 5 singles as well as No. 2 doubles.

At No. 3, Julia Spong took out Anna Taylor 6-1, 6-3. Amanda Teague easily defeated Kaitlin Dickey at No. 5 singles, 6-1 and 6-2.

In doubles, Anna Spong and Makayla Chandler had little trouble with Megan Parke and Taylor Whisnant, winning 6-3, 6-1.

``We have a really strong lineup all the way through,’’ deLoach said.

Greenville coach Steve Demosthenes, though, was happy with how Ingram pushed deLoach and Lauren Holton made Katherine Fant work at No. 4 singles before Fant posted a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) victory to complete the sweep.

``I’m very proud of them,’’ Demosthenes said. ``A.C Flora is really good, but the girls played them tough. We’re getting there.’’

Ingram surprised deLoach by posting a 6-4 win in their first set. DeLoach responded with a 6-0 second-set win before outlasting Ingram in the tie-breaker 10-6 to claim the match.

``She is a really consistent player,’’ deLoach said. ``She gets every ball back. That hurt me because I would make mistakes first. In the second set, I calmed down some and waited to go for my shot.’’

The Red Raiders finished their season at 12-5, while Flora (12-1) moves to the second round against the winner of Thursday’s Chapin-J.L. Mann match.

Last season, Flora advanced to the Upper State final in Woods’ first season as coach before losing to Mann.

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Class 3A playoffs -- First round

A.C. Flora 6, Greenville 0

At Richland County Tennis Center, Columbia

Singles: Caroline deLoach def. Christine Ingram, 4-6, 6-0, 10-6; Shannon deLoach def. Christina Merchant, 6-4, 6-1; Julia Spong def. Anna Taylor, 6-1, 6-3; Katherine Fant def. Lauren Holton, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5); Amanda Teague def. Kaitlin Dickey, 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles: Anna Spong/Makayla Chandler def. Megan Parke/Taylor Whisnant, 6-3, 6-1.

Rec A 12-1, G 12-5

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