SUMTER - Chapin knocked on the door, and then kicked it all the way in.
The Eagles were making their first Class 3A finals appearance in coach John Rodgers 33-year tenure and they walked away with a 4-2 victory against Camden Saturday at the Palmetto Tennis Center.
As soon as Kyle Koch clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Josh Cook in No. 1 singles, Rodgers was doused with the celebratory water-bucket bath that was a long time coming.
"We've always had good tennis at Chapin but didn't have the strength in the lineup all the way through to get to this point," Rodgers said. "We kicked that door down to get into the finals and this makes it extra special to be able to win the whole thing against a very good Camden squad."
Koch, the defending singles individual champion, earned his 100th career victory. The junior is 100-7 in his career and five wins off the school record.
"To win state and get to triple digits in wins on the same day is a great feeling," Koch said.
Koch was as happy for Rodgers as he was for anything the team had accomplished.
"It's great for the team and great for the Chapin program overall," Koch said. "But really and truly this is special for Coach because he is a great guy and he definitely deserves this. It meant a lot to us to finally be the group that gave him that first state title."
Rodgers said Koch's demeanor sets the tone for the rest of the team.
"I can't say enough about Kyle as a leader and they way he presents himself on the court," Rodgers said. "He's done an incredible job, and for him to have the clinching point made it a little extra special for him, I'm sure."
Chapin (21-0) had reached the state semifinals 13 times under Rodgers but finally earned a spot in the finals with a 4-2 victory against Clinton on Friday.
Against the Bulldogs, Robert Hinson and Jeffery Koch claimed victories in No. 4 and 5 singles while the No. 2 doubles team of Chris Gardiner and Sean McCawley won 6-4, 6-3 for the deciding points.
Rodgers pointed to Jeffery Koch's 6-3, 7-5 victory against Andrew Koutroulakis as a turning point in the match. Jeffery Koch is Kyle's younger brother.
"We really needed that one going in and Jeffery did a great job," Rodgers said. "It was a tough match, and I knew if we won that one I liked our chances."
Cauthen Tiller and JoJo Tiller claimed victories for Camden (18-3) at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.
"Our kids fought to the wire. I'm really pleased with the effort of our kids but Chapin is a real strong team," Camden coach Roger Smoak said. "We thought we could have won a few matches that didn't go our way but I think the best team won. We just weren't good enough."
Singles: Kyle Koch (Ch) d. Josh Cook 6-4, 6-4; Cauthen Tiller (Ca) d. Alex Wallace 6-3, 1-6, 16-14; JoJo Tiller (Ca) d. Sean Koch 6-0, 6-0; Robert Hinson (Ch) d. Roderick Todd 6-2, 6-1; Jeffery Koch (Ch) d. Andrew Koutroulakis 6-3, 7-5. Doubles: Chris Gardiner/Sean McCawley (Ch) d. Micah Thomas/Davis Goodrich 6-4, 6-3.