Pinewood Prep probably was a little overmatched in Region III of SCISA Class AAA tennis this spring considering that the Panthers were swept by state champion Porter-Gaud and powerhouses Hilton Head Christian and Hilton Head Prep.
Of course, those teams may have been the three best high school tennis teams in the state, period.
But what if Zac Dye still had been playing for Pinewood Prep? Half of the All-Lowcountry first team on one team?
Dye was at Pinewood Prep in 2007 when the Panthers won their lone state tennis championship. Even as a sixth-grader that year, Dye played a key role as the Panthers’ No. 4 player. His brother, Jeremiah, was No. 1.
Zac Dye just completed his junior year at Berkeley. Fellow All-Lowcountry performers Joel Roberts and Adam Elliget played for Pinewood Prep.
Dye won his first 18 matches before losing in the first round of the High School League’s Class AAA/AAAA state singles tournament and then winning six straight matches to take the consolation title.
Dye is starting to get more serious about his tennis game. He plans to spend the summer at Hilton Head Island training with Jeremiah. The older brother is a former Citadel player who is currently a pro on Hilton Head Island. Zac, now 17, has his eyes on playing at The Citadel.
Wando star leavingCharleston is losing one of its top girls players to Florida. Melanie Allen played No. 2 for Class AAAA state runner-up Wando last spring as a freshman, but her father, Tim, is switching from the academic staff at the College of Charleston to Florida Gulf Coast University.
Allen expects to play high school tennis in Fort Myers this fall as a sophomore. The 15-year-old leaves as the No. 4 player in the state in girls 16.
NotesThe local adult mixed doubles playoffs will be held at Charleston Tennis Center and at Mount Pleasant’s Whipple Road complex. The 6.0 and 7.0 playoffs are July 27-29 at both facilities, while the 8.0 playoffs are Aug. 3-5 at Charleston Tennis Center. Two teams from each regular season flight will advance to the local playoffs. That means two of the six teams from the Summerville/Walterboro area 7.0 flight will qualify for the local playoffs, while only two teams also will advance from each of the three other regular-season 7.0 flights, each made up of 11 teams.
The state mixed doubles tournament will be held in Florence the weekend of Sept. 15-17.
The second annual Charleston Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project will be held July 19 at Pine Forest Country Club. All net proceeds go straight to the Wounded Warrior Project. “From battlefield to bedside, the Wounded Warrior Project assists those men and women of the Armed Forces who have been severely injured in conflicts around the world,” said avid league tennis player and Charleston Classic founder Josh Strimple, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve who spent much of last year in Iraq. The first Charleston Classic raised $8,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. For information, go to www.charlestonclassic.org.
The local women’s 9.5 combo team captained by Ann Harrah recently took state runner-up honors and was awarded a wild card in the Southern Sectionals. The team is: Harrah, Courtney Zalinski, Lai Ping Rippee, Deanna Vrooman, Laura Pearce, Laurie Yarbrough, Amy White, Dominique Cassetori, Diane Barker, Marissa Gildemeister and Maria Elliott.
Combo doubles registration will run through June 30.
Reach James Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.