Saturday’s Class AA girls state tennis championship was a cakewalk for Bishop England (25-2) as the Bishops waltzed off with their third consecutive state title by crushing previously unbeaten Mid-Carolina, 6-0, at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.
This one wasn’t even close as the Bishops yielded a total of just seven games in the five singles matches and No. 2 doubles as eighth-grader Lauren Quinn and freshman Cameryn Deames won 6-0, 6-0 matches at Nos. 3 and 4 singles. Only Gabrielle Dacuba gave up more than one game in singles as she took the No. 5 position, 6-1, 6-2, over Mid-Carolina’s Gracie Eldridge.
“We came to play,” BE coach Kristin Fleming said about her third state title.
It was a fitting end for the careers of Nos. 1 and 2 seniors Liza Arruda and Caroline Yodice, who suffered one-sided losses to Waccamaw in the state semifinals. They yielded just one game each to Mid-Carolina (14-1).
“I’m very proud of the team. We worked hard to get here,” Arruda said.
Yodice called it one of her best matches ever. “I was more focused and excited,” she said. “You have to stay focused and bring out your best at state.”
For Prosperity-based Mid-Carolina, the Rebels’ first region-championship season in their six years of fielding a girls tennis team ended with a rude awakening against the perennially powerful Bishops who captured their 11th state title in the last 17 seasons and 18th in all.
As for senior No. 2 doubles ace Hannah Simpson, she was just glad the championship match wasn’t as pressure-filled as the rain-interrupted win over Waccamaw when she and partner Drue Ranson had to wait until the next day to clinch the Lower State title.
“I’m really happy there wasn’t as much pressure today,” Simpson said. “It’s amazing. I never would have dreamed we would win three straight state titles.”
Travelers Rest defeated Myrtle Beach in the Class AAA state final, 4-3; T.L. Hanna defeated Dutch Fork in the Class AAAA final; and Christ Church won the Class A title over East Clarendon.
BISHOP ENGLAND 6, MID-CAROLINA 0
SINGLES: Liza Arruda (BE) def. Gabrielle Sanders, 6-1, 6-0; Caroline Yodice (BE) def. Madyson Murphy, 6-0, 6-1; Lauren Quinn (BE) def. Haley Hughes, 6-0, 6-0; Cameryn Deames (BE) def. Emily Livingston, 6-0, 6-0; Gabrielle Dacuba (BE) def.
Gracie Eldridge, 6-1, 6-2.
DOUBLES: Hannah Simpson/Drue Ranson (BE) def. Sydney Willingham/Brooke Ball, 6-2, 6-0.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.