Lady Stags netters advance to LS Final Four
What has been called a youthful Berkeley Lady Stags girls tennis team has advanced to the Class AAA Lower State Final Four with early-round wins over Socastee and Brookland-Cayce.
The Lady Stags were to play at Wilson on Monday. The winner of that match would play the winner of the Myrtle Beach-Hilton Head match for the Lower State Championship and a trip to the state finals.
Berkeley downed the Lady Braves 4-2 in the first round and Brookland-Cayce 5-1 in the second round to advance.
“We had a couple of really good practices this week and the team seems to be peaking at the right time,” said BHS Coach Joe Harnage.
Against Brookland-Cayce, number one singles player Kristin Farmer rebounded from just her second match loss of the season against Socastee to win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3; while number two seed Eliott Huxford came off a tight match win against the Lady Braves to win in a whitewash, 6-0, 6-0.
“We won all five singles matches in straight sets,” Harnage said. “We had played them last year and knew that had a strong singles lineup.
“All of the matches were extremely close even if the scores did not indicate it. We had to work really hard.”
Other winners for the Lady Stags against Brookland-Cayce included Jill Funk, winning 6-1, 6-4; Caroline Lamprecht winning 7-5, 6-2; and Camren Tedder clinching the win 6-3, 6-1.
The number two doubles team of Lauren Jackson and Laura Futrell fell 6-3, 6-1, but Harnage said the play of his doubles team continues to improve.
“These were hard fought and well-played matches,” he said.
Against Socastee, the Lady Stags had to battle.
“The match was extremely close,” Harnage said. “Socastee played almost the entire year without their best player due to an injury but she was available on Tuesday so they were a much better team than their record reflected.”
While Farmer fell for just the second time all year, Huxford, Lamprecht and Tedder helped pick up the slack.
At 16-2 for the season, both of Farmer’s losses ended in tiebreakers.
As for Huxford, Harnage said, “She played her best match of the season, and Jill Funk played very well although her scores did not indicate it.”
The number two doubles team of Futrell and Jackson won their doubles match 7-5, 6-4.