It may have been somewhat of a surprise to see 16-year-old Columbian Hayley Carter win this yearís Family Circle Cup junior championship and earn a wild card into the Family Circle Cupís qualifying tournament, considering the number of highly touted juniors who participated in the February event.
But Belton followers know all about the big-hitting young woman. Sheís been winning Palmetto Junior Championships almost from the time she outgrew the net. Carter swept Belton again this past week, winning both singles and doubles in girls 18 to break the girls record of 13 overall titles set from 1984-91 by Janice Durden, a Charleston junior who later was an All-American at Clemson.
With 14 titles and another year of eligibility still remaining at Belton, the 5-10 Carter can surpass the overall record of 15 titles by former Charleston junior Ryan Young, another former Clemson All-American.
Fenno, Navarro winBrant Fenno and Emma Navarro in 12-and-under boys and girls were the only regulation-court singles champions from Charleston in the recently completed Palmetto Junior Championships. William Ross won the small-court Quick Start boys 10 singles competition.
Earl Navarro (boys 12), Adam Elliget (boys 16), Matthew Mendez (boys 18) and Melanie Allen (girls 16) were singles finalists.
In doubles, Emma Navarro (girls 12), Earl Navarro (boys 12), Alexander Santiago (boys 16) and Connor Clements (boys 18) brought home titles, while Ross/Zachary Dacuba (boys 10), Elliget/Austin Heinz (boys 16), Mendez/Thomas Spratt (boys 18) and Narni Summerall (girls 18) were runners-up.
Tri-County leagueThe Tri-County Elementary and Middle School League season ended recently with an awards ceremony at Charleston Tennis Center. With 17 divisions and 124 teams, the league that started 30 years ago with seven teams wrapped up with the Moultrie Middle School Aces coached by Holly Covington taking the top awards as Division 1 and Tournament 1 champions.
Belle Hall Elementary and James Island Elementary each had three teams to win either a division or tournament title.
The 10 tournament winners were: 1. Moultrie Aces, 2. Coastal Christian, 3. Mason Prep Knights, 4. Fort Johnson Rams, 5. Mason Prep Gold; 6. Belle Hall 1, 7. Angel Oak, 8. Lambs, 9. James Island White and 10. Stiles Point Silver.
The middle school divisions played on regulation 78-foot courts; upper elementary teams on 60-foot courts; and lower elementary teams played on 36-foot courts.
NotesThe 5.0 adult women, captained by Amy White, won a state league tennis title.
Local resident Morgan Ivey was captain and most valuable player of the Rutgers University womenís team. The recent Rutgers graduate (3.78 GPA) also won the Northeast Regionís Cissie Leary Award for sportsmanship.
A meeting will be held today at 4 p.m. at the James Island Recreation Center to discuss new policies and procedures at Maybank Tennis Center once the City of Charleston facility reopens later this year after an extensive renovation.
Tour Tennisí popular Spring Singles Tournament will be held next weekend at Mount Pleasantís Whipple Road complex. Registration ends Tuesday. Contact Tour Tennis (388-5618).
For the sixth time in seven years, Kiawah Island has been named the No. 1 tennis resort in the world by Tennis Resorts Online. Wild Dunes came in fourth and was the only other resort selected from the state.
Charleston players won two Belton sportsmanship awards: Sam Kavarana took the Matthew Strange Memorial Sportsmanship Award for boys 12; and Thomas Spratt was named the winner of the overall sportsmanship award, the Malloy Evans Memorial Sportsmanship Award.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.