A.C. Flora puts its 18-0 record on the line Thursday in Hilton Head when the Falcons take on three-time defending state girls tennis champion Hilton Head in the Class 3A Lower State title match.
“We’re all very excited about the opportunity to get to the finals,” said first-year Falcons coach Sherri Robinson. “This has been an exciting, extremely fulfilling season for us, and we hope to keep it going a little while longer.”
The Falcons establish themselves as the No. 1 team in the Midlands this season, downing 4A powers Irmo and Lexington in addition to sweeping through the competition on the way to the Region 5 championship. Flora defeated region rival Dreher for the third time in second-round play on Tuesday to advance to the Final Four phase for the second time in the past three seasons and the fourth time since 2002.
ACF lost to J.L. Mann in the Upper State final in 2008, and to Myrtle Beach in Lower State finals in 2003 and 2002.
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In fact, the Falcons have never reached the championship finals since the sport adopted a dual-match format in 1984.
A.C. Flora did, however, win a state championship in 1969 when the original, all-comers tournament style format was still in place.
The Falcons top players (w/records) are: senior Caroline deLoach (15-0), junior Shannon deLoach (11-2), senior Amanda Teague (11-2), senior Katherine Fant (9-3), sophomore Makayla Chandler (13-1), senior Anna Spong (13-1), seventh-grader Marlene Robinson (12-0) and junior Anna Eaddy (12-0).