MOUNT PLEASANT — Bishop England’s girls were so close to winning a third straight Class AA Lower State girls tennis championship Wednesday night, but rain won out in the end. The once-beaten Bishops and Waccamaw will attempt to finish the match Thursday at 4 p.m. at Creekside Tennis and Swim, with the Bishops holding a 3-2 lead over Waccamaw and needing to win one game to wrap up a spot in Saturday’s High School League state final.

“We’ll need to come in early and close it out,” said BE coach Kristin Fleming, who is seeking her third straight state title with the Bishops.

The Bishops’ No. 2 doubles team of Hannah Simpson and Drue Ranson won the first 10 games against Waccamaw’s Lindsay Costin and Caitlyn Krask and held a 5-1 lead before dropping a pair of games to allow the rain to put a halt to play at the Creekside complex. The Simpson/Ranson pair owns a 6-0, 5-3 advantage when the match resumes Thursday afternoon.

After having the lines dried with towels and a blower, the two teams appeared ready to resume after a 40-minute delay. But when more rain started falling, Fleming and Waccamaw coach Joan Cribb agreed to complete the match on Thursday.

Bishop England seniors Liza Arruda and Caroline Yodice suffered losses at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, but eighth-grader Lauren Quinn, freshman Cameryn Deames and sophomore Gabrielle Dacuba yielded a total of only six games at the Nos. 3-5 positions as Bishop England came up one win short in singles of closing out the match.

Waccamaw seventh-grader Ali Despain overwhelmed Arruda, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1, while newcomer Sydney Derrick took a 6-1, 7-5 win over Yodice at No. 2.

Bishop England’s No. 1 doubles team of Arruda and Quinn trailed Waccamaw’s Despain/Derrick pair, 6-2, 2-2, when play was halted.

LCTA party Friday

The Lowcountry Tennis Association’s annual party will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at Family Circle Tennis Center for all LCTA players, their guests and prospective players. Foods and beverages will be provided at the catered event.

Entertainment will be provided by mixed doubles teams from eight area tennis facilities, including the mother/son pair of I’On pros Diane Barker and Matt Hane.

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