High School Sports

Fort Mill girls’ tennis advances in state playoffs; Nation Ford, Catawba Ridge end seasons

Nation Ford’s Natalie Sawyer takes on Hillcrest’s Brooklyn Kiest Wednesday night at Nation Ford.
Nation Ford’s Natalie Sawyer takes on Hillcrest’s Brooklyn Kiest Wednesday night at Nation Ford.

One moved on; two did not.

The state tennis playoffs began on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and the first round saw appearances from all three Fort Mill high school teams — but Fort Mill was the only school to advance out of the first round.

In 5A, Fort Mill hosted Riverside in the first round and won, 4-2. Winning for Fort Mill was No. 2 singles Kaedyn Willis 7-5, 6-3; No. 3 singles Rylie Wartinger 6-3,4-6, 1-0 (10-7) and No. 5 singles Julia Biggers 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-8).

Fort Mill clinched the match in No. 2 doubles with a win from Meredith Bhend and Ruhi Patel 6-2, 7-6 in straight sets.

With the first-round win, Fort Mill improves to 14-0 on the season.

On the other hand, both Nation Ford and Catawba Ridge fell in their first-round matches. Nation Ford hosted Hillcrest and fell 6-0. Nation Ford finished 10-4 on the year.

For Falcons’ head coach Lindsay Gregory, she said she felt like the team came a long way after losing her top three players with the opening of Catawba Ridge.

“I thought this would be a rebuilding year,” she said, referencing the fact that she returned only three players from the season before. “I am happy we made it this far because we lost so many girls.”

In the match against Hillcrest, Nation Ford lost every match in straight sets except No. 2 doubles, which fell in three sets as Lauren Padgett and Keeley Wong lost 1-6, 6-4, 10-5.

“We know when we play teams from the Greenville-Spartanburg area, teams are a lot stronger from down there,” Gregory said.

In their 3A classification, Catawba Ridge lost to Mid-Carolina 5-1 in the first round to end their season with an 11-9 record. The only win for the Copperheads in the match came at No. 1 singles with Sarah Taylor winning 7-5, 6-3 in straight sets.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net, @MacBanksFM