Sun-brellas and sunshades were standard courtside attire as the Georgetown Lady Bulldogs and the Waccamaw Lady Warriors took to the courts Sept. 17 at the Stables Tennis Center in Pawleys Island.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Bulldogs battled the rain and ended up having to suspend play during their match with Low Country Preparatory School.
On Wednesday, they conquered the heat, but fell short on the court, losing five singles and two doubles matches to the Warriors.
“We know when we play Waccamaw that the level of play is going to be tough,” Georgetown Coach Grace George said. “Our girls don’t play tournaments during the offseason like the Waccamaw girls do, but it is really good practice for us, and that’s why we are here.”
The two schools are in different divisions but enjoy an occasional friendly rivalry.
George said that in her 11 years of coaching at Georgetown, the Lady Bulldogs have only played Waccamaw twice.
“I think it is really good for our girls to play a team like Waccamaw, because they get some really good experience,” she said. “They may not leave with a win, but they have learned something.” George said most of her girls play softball as well as tennis, and the only extra practice they get in the offseason is hitting with her.
One of the Lady Bulldogs who spent time hitting with George during the offseason was No. 3 player Kendal Blakely. Blakely entered the court on Wednesday with three wins under her belt for the season.
Waccamaw’s Alana Maser was determined to put an end to her winning streak, and that’s exactly what she did. Maser took both sets of the match, 6-0, 6-1.
On court No. 1, Georgetown’s Taylor Howell battled the wicked serve of Waccamaw’s Sydney Derrick. Derrick kept Howell deep in the service court, dishing up several aces along the way.
Howell battled relentlessly and took one game off of Derrick in the second set. Despite the heat, Derrick played a fast-paced match and defeated Howell 6-0, 6-1.
Georgetown’s No. 2 player, Caroline Goodwin, had her hands full in the first set of her match against Waccamaw’s Maddy Middleton. Middleton moved Goodwin all over the court and gained a first set 6-0 victory. In the second set, Goodwin pulled out her powerful forehand and gave Middleton a run for her money.
With the score 3-3, Middleton was forced to change her game and lure Goodwin to the net. With Goodwin at the net, Middleton powered shots down the line for winners that resulted in her regaining control of the match, and she recorded a 6-0, 6-3 win over Goodwin.
Georgetown’s No. 4 player, Paige Bell, was defeated by Waccamaw’s Delacy Rowland, 6-0, 6-1, but the score was not reflective of Bell’s effort on the court.
Bell had quite a bit of diversity in her game, bringing Rowland to the net several times and then hitting winners. In the end, Rowland’s crafty backhand got the best of Bell, who left the court with a 0-6, 1-6 defeat.
Carson Wall, Georgetown’s No. 5 player, found herself all over the court keeping up with the mixed bag of tricks Waccamaw’s Karina Kostova was serving up.
Wall was able to take two games off of Kostova, but Kostova walked away with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Wall.
Georgetown paired up Taylor Howell and Caroline Goodwin for No. 1 doubles against Waccamaw’s Sydney Derrick and Alana Maser in an eight-game pro set. Derrick and Maser defeated Howell and Goodwin 8-4.
Gabi Cardinale and Kirsten Vause played No. 2 doubles for the Lady Bulldogs against Waccamaw’s Caitlin Krask and Sassy Tolson.
Krask and Tolson, having honed their doubles skills during regular region play, defeated Cardinale and Vause 6-1, 6-0.
After the match, Waccamaw Head Coach Mary Cannon explained that all players on both rosters were able to play in some facet during the match, including exhibition play.
“It’s always nice to play other teams in Georgetown County, especially as we continue to grow the game of tennis,” she said.
Georgetown coach George was happy with the level of play her junior varsity team exhibited during the match. Mary Kate Cooper played two singles matches and won one.
Kaitlin Bellune played a singles match and a doubles match, and won at doubles. Avery Claire Benton played two singles matches and won one, and Jyah Bonds played a singles match and a doubles match, and won at doubles.