Thursday, May 8, 2014
Determined to even the score, a very fired up Waccamaw High boys tennis team overcame a few pre-match nerves on Monday to defeat longtime rival Bishop England.
The Warriors were ready to take on the Battling Bishops last week for the second time this season, but Mother Nature opened up the sky, drenched the courts and forced both teams to wait another week for the highly anticipated match.
With their early season loss to Bishop England for the first time in 14 years weighing heavy on their minds, the Warriors were determined to not have a repeat of their last match with their arch rivals.
“We have to play harder than we have ever played,” said senior Kevin Mushock as he was warming up for his match. “This might be the most important match I have ever played.”
Bishop England’s Jake Meyer found Mushock’s wicked cross-court forehand problematic, and Mushock won 6-4, 5-7 as he sent Meyer deep in to the backcourt chasing a viscous fore hand slice to take the tie breaker 10-8.
Swiftly moving from court to court, Waccamaw coach Lynn Hunt kept a steady eye on his Warriors.
“Our guys are going to all have to play up today…..not a position I would like to see them in, but with Paul Hendrix committed to a tournament in Florida, they will all move up and play hard.”
Playing with unwavering determination, Bishop England’s No. 1 player Lukas Zalesky defeated Waccamaw’s Justin Dunn 6-1, 7-5.
“At the end of the day, he played better than I did,” Dunn said.
At No. 2, Waccamaw senior Joey Hewes battled to win the first set 7-5 with Noah Stiepel taking the second set 2-6 - forcing the two in to a heated and often verbally contested tiebreaker.
With both coaches called on to the courts to serve as line judges, Stiepel pulled ahead of Hewes to take the match in an 10-8 tiebreaker.
At. No. 3, Waccamaw sophomore Ben Hewes, steadily and precisely took down Daniel Knot.
Waccamaw’s No. 4 player Jaz Greene persevered 30-stroke rallies to defeat Brian Privett in an exciting 10-8 tie breaker after a 6-4, 5-7 match.
“That was awesome, he was tough, but I just kept trying to do my best, and it paid off,” Greene said.
With the team victory in the balance, Waccamaw’s Woodrow Tudor and Parker Brinson took the court for the No. 2 doubles match against Peyton Warren and Will Ransom. With his consistent and powerful overhead smashes, Tudor zigged to Brinson’s crafty net performance zags and the duo captured the win not only for their match but for the team.
After serving for the win, a very happy Brinson said, “That felt so good, BE is good, but we wanted to show them that they are no match for the Warriors, and we did it, we all played hard and fought hard, and this is just awesome.”
As he gathered his team around him for a victory battle cry, Hunt said “I can’t begin to express to you how proud I am of this team effort.”
The boys’ hopes for a playoff berth were dashed last week with a 5-2 loss at St. James.
David Stalvey picked up a win at No. 2 singles while the No. 2 doubles team of Brice Sanders and Gabe Holmes won their third match of the week.
“We are losing three seniors in the varsity lineup. These players will be hard to replace,” said coach grace George. “We have work to do over the off-season to fill these spots. The team is excited to get ready for next spring as the dynamics of the region will change with Socastee moving up in class and Lake City joining the region. The team goal will be to make the state playoffs.”