High School Sports

‘They didn’t give up’: After perfect regular season, Fort Mill tennis ends run in playoffs

Fort Mill’s No. 2 singles player Kaedyn Willis returns a shot during her match against Wade Hampton in the second round of the 5A state playoffs.
Fort Mill’s No. 2 singles player Kaedyn Willis returns a shot during her match against Wade Hampton in the second round of the 5A state playoffs.

Tears flowed after the Fort Mill girls’ tennis team lost for the first time on Monday and was ultimately eliminated from the 5A playoffs in the second round.

The Yellow Jackets lost to Wade Hampton, 5-1, in the playoffs and ended their season with a 14-1 record. Head coach Angela Struve said she had no expectations entering the season, and that she’s proud of how far this year’s team went.

“I came into the season with no expectations but to have fun and have a great season,” Struve said.

However, Fort Mill did a lot more than that: The team won its region and put together an undefeated regular season. It also advanced past the first round of the playoffs.

Struve said the thing that made her most proud was that her team was able to win a Region 3-5A title — and that it did so by beating its rival and worthy opponent, Nation Ford.

The Yellow Jackets lost all five of their singles matches in straight sets with the only win coming in No. 2 doubles from Ruhi Patel and Meredith Bhend, who won 6-1, 6-4.

“Everybody played well,” she said. “They didn’t give up, and they didn’t stop playing until the last point had been played.”

Nearly every match was close. In No. 1 singles, Jamie Petrella for the Jackets lost a match closer than the score tells, 6-1, 6-3, and was the last match finished in the contest.

At No. 2 singles, Fort Mill’s Kaedyn Willis fell 6-1, 6-2, and at No. 3 singles, Rylie Wartinger lost 6-1, 6-0. The other two matches saw No. 4 singles Madison McCarty fall 6-0, 6-2 and No. 5 singles Julia Biggers fall 6-4, 6-1.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net, @MacBanksFM

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