With the start of the state girls tennis playoffs just three weeks away, it’s a good time to take stock of the situation in the Midlands.
Irmo and A.C. Flora both sport unbeaten record entering the month of October, Lexington and Dreher are also enjoying outstanding seasons.
IRMO - The Yellow Jackets stand at 9-0 overall and 7-0 in Region 4-4A. Irmo has virtually locked up the region title by sweeping its region contests with archrival Dutch Fork Olivia Haley (6-0 at No. 3 singles), Sally Nguyen (9-0 at No. 4), Jennifer Anderson (9-0) at No. 5), Ivey Westerkam (6-3, at No. 1) and Madi Hutchinson (4-4 at No. 2) are the singles starters Priya Pirohit (5-0), Isabelle Cooper (7-0) and Keley Murrell (4-0) have shared the load on the unbeaten No. 2 doubles team “We are very encouraged so far, but we are still working hard to be ready to perform our best,” said coach Suzanne Gray.
A.C. FLORA - The Falcons are off to an 8-0 start under new coach Sheri Robinson. Individually, the Falcons have won 55 of their 56 match-ups “We’re dominating everyone, but we have tough matches coming up against Irmo and Lexington in preparation for the state playoffs,” said Robinson.
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LEXINGTON - The Wildcats, despite having some injury issues, is 7-1 and is 6-0 in Region 5-4A ... Individually, Morgan Patterson is 4-1 at No. 1 singles, Erin Green is 3-2 at No. 2, Rachel Lovaas is 4-2 at No. 3 and Lauren Howard is 6-1 at No. 5 singles. The top No. 2 doubles team is 5-0 and features Katie Lucas Katie Thompson (No. 4 singles) has been plagued by shoulder problems, and Kelly Gajewski, Lucas’ partner at No. 2 doubles, is out for the season with a knee injury “Hopefully by the time playoffs roll around, we’ll have another solid #2 doubles court and a singles lineup that's free from injury,” said coach Eric Jackson..
DREHER - The Blue Devils stand at 9-1 overall, 6-1 in Region 5-3A with the lone loss coming against undefeated A.C. Flora Alexa Breeland (9-1) and Shelby McKeown (9-1) are the top singles players, while Michaela Close is 3-2 in singles and 4-0 in doubles ... “The girls are putting together a very nice season and each flight has done a nice job of picking each other up,” said coach David Kleinfelder.
CARDINAL NEWMAN - The Cardinals are 7-2 overall, 6-0 in SCISA Region 1-3A. Andrea Martin (6-3), Alex August (6-3), Brittney Desmond (8-1) and Kate Tringali (6-3) are the top singles players to date “The team is playing very well and has pulled out some very close matches in tiebreakers” said coach Amy Martin. “Our doubles play is very strong. We’re looking forward to a great finish to the season and in the playoffs.”
CHAPIN - The Eagles are 6-2 overall, 5-2 in tough Region 5-3A. Chapin is on the outside in the race for one of the two playoff spots available Freshman Savannah Melonas is Chapin’s top player so far. She has an 8-0 record at No. 2 singles.
RICHLAND NE - The Cavaliers stand at 6-3 overall, 5-2 in Region 4-4A. Emily Theus, Lauren Beam, and Gracyn Brandon have been the outstanding singles players so far.
HAMMOND - The Skyhawks are 5-4 overall, 4-2 in SCISA Region 1-3A Madelon Kneece (8-0 singles, 6-3 doubles), Grace Graham (1-0, singles, 4-2 doubles), Britt Harris (1-0 singles, 5-1 doubles), Mimi Marshall (1-0 singles, 4-1 doubles) and Callie Beal (1-0 singles, 4-1 doubles) have all player well in a variety of roles.