Hitting the road in the dual A-AA Lower State girls’ tennis playoffs is always a daunting task for a 1-A team. To remain the only 1-A making it to the semi-finals is the type of team Green Sea-Floyds Lady Trojans tennis coach Tracy Kienast was blessed to have this season.
After finishing up the regular season in the always challenging 6-A-AA region with a 9-4 on the regular season and a third spot in region play, Kienast and his young team hit the road to face Batesburg-Leesville and the Lady Panthers on Monday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m.
The Lady Trojans toed the lines and served up a big playoff win over the AA Lady Panthers in a highly competitive match, winning by the score of 4-3.
“Girls played hard all match. Emmy’s (Kienast) match with Helena Burton at number two singles was 40-40 for nearly every game,” said Kienast.
“Our number two doubles of Chance Caulder and Shayla Hardee played hard, but couldn’t pull out the third set tiebreaker.
“In number one doubles, Kaylee Jordan and Emmy Kienast played the last match with the score 3-3 and everyone was watching and the pressure was on. Both girls stepped up and played the best I’ve seen them play all season.”
The final results were:
Singles: Kaylee Jordan vs Sydnee Patrick 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 (W), Emmy Kienast, vs Helena Burton 4-6, 6-7 (4-7) (L), Carlyse Major vs Hannah Derrick 2-6, 2-6 (L), Hali Hutchinson vs Dara Younce 6-1, 7-5 (W) and Tamara Jackson vs Reynolds Rawls 6-3, 6-2 (W).
In doubles play: Kaylee Jordan/Emmy Kienast vs Sydnee Patrick 6-3, 6-3 (W) and Chance Caulder/Shayla Hardee vs Caroline Bedenbough/Magan Hooks 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 4-10(L).
The Lady Trojans faced off against the 12-2 Lady Raptors of Academic Magnet, a strong AA team from North Charleston in a Lower State semi-final match on Nov. 2.
Some injuries forced every one below the three seed to move up a spot following an injury to Lady Trojans number three singles player Carlyse Major.
The highly ranked Lady Raptors took advantage and downed the Lady Trojans 7-0.
“Our girls played well that night and it is a joy to coach these girls,” said Kienast. “Academic Magnet is just that good. They are a very strong team. Best we saw all season.”
Scores included No. 1 singles: Kaylee Jordan vs Mina Schaafsma 0-6, 0-6; No. 2 singles: Emmy Kienast vs Aileen Shi 0-6, 1-6; No. 3 Singles: Hali Hutchinson vs Thandi Nixon 0-6, 0-6; No. 4 singles: Tamara Jackson vs Caroline Young 1-6, 1-6; No. singles: Chance Caulder vs Mary Claire Newsom 5-7, 1-6.
No. 1 doubles: Kaylee Jordan/Emmy Kienast vs Mina Schaafsma/Aileen Shi 0-8; No. 2 doubles: Shayla Hardee/Sarah Hewitt vs Sophie Estoppey/Tori Streetman 1-8.
The young Lady Trojans finished the season at 10-5 and Kaylee Jordan will play in the State Singles Tournament Nov. 14-15 in Columbia.
“This is her second straight year being selected for the tournament. Very proud of how the girls played all season,” said Kienast.
“Looking forward to working with them again next year and see if we can build on what we accomplished. There were only 2 1A schools that made it into playoffs and we were the only 1A school to advance out of the first round.”