High school tennis, much like league tennis, has been controlled by the weather in the early stages of the spring tennis season.
Monday nights have been especially consistently wet as rain has plagued league tennis on four of the five regularly scheduled men’s 3.5 nights.
In high school tennis, about the only activity has been a scrimmage pitting possibly the area’s top two boys teams. In that unofficial meeting, Porter-Gaud scored a 5-2 win over Wando.
Having lost 2014 All-Lowcountry Jacob Jahn, who is concentrating on junior tennis as an eighth-grader this season, Wando is fortunate to have freshman Scotty Cameron on board. Cameron opened with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Porter-Gaud junior Cross Tolliver at No. 1 singles in the scrimmage. Porter-Gaud freshman Brant Fenno played No. 2 against the Warriors’ Andrew Dacosta and prevailed, 6-1, 6-2.
Porter-Gaud is scheduled to play its first match of the season on Tuesday against Beaufort Academy at the Cyclones’ complex on Albemarle Road.
The Cyclones’ first test of the spring should come on March 11 when Wando visits Porter-Gaud, although the match will be somewhat meaningless except for local bragging rights in that Porter-Gaud represents SCISA Class AAA and Wando plays in the High School League’s Class AAAA.
With perennial Class AAA power Hilton Head Prep now in Class AA along with Hilton Head Christian, coach Jonathan Barth’s Porter-Gaud outfit isn’t expected to have much of a struggle in its own league. The Cyclones should be heavy favorites to win SCISA’s top-tier state title.
Meanwhile, Bishop England is scheduled to begin the Jared Pratt era on March 9 at Summerville, which has All-Lowcountry standout Adam Elliget back for one more season. A potential Pratt-Elliget confrontation should be worth watching.
Pratt is a talented freshman who is making a comeback from surgery in the fall of 2013 for the curved-spine condition Scoliosis. He was ranked as high as the South’s top 10 in boys 14 prior to the surgery.
Minus the graduated Lukas Zalesky and Noah Stiepel, coach Kristin Fleming Arnold’s Bishop England team has last season’s No. 3 players back in Jeff Jones and Daniel Knott. Jones yielded the third spot to Knott last spring after being sidelined by an injury.
The Bishops’ other two starting singles players, freshman Lleyton Dacuba (No. 3) and senior Will Ranson (No. 5), are the brothers of Gabrielle Dacuba and Drue Ranson, who helped lead the Bishop England girls to a fourth straight Class AA state title last fall.
“We have a tough schedule playing South Aiken, Hilton Head, Beaufort, Wando, Porter-Gaud and Waccamaw,” Fleming Arnold said.
It comes in handy for Shelby Rogers to be ranked among the top 100 women’s tennis players in the world. Direct entry is much better than having to spend a weekend in an Acapulco or Monterrey, Mexico, playing grueling dog-eat-dog qualifying matches.
As a result of her world’s 80th ranking, Rogers is in Monterrey this weekend, preparing for the $500,000 Monterrey Open. She is a direct entry in the 32-draw event that starts on Monday and is scheduled to take on 92nd-ranked Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in the first round.
That’s much better than her first-round draw in Acapulco where she suffered a straight-set loss to second-ranked Maria Sharapova last Monday night.
Rogers plans to play in the super tournaments at Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami in the upcoming weeks as she zeroes in on what she expects to be a direct entry into the Family Circle Cup in five weeks.
City tennis manager Peggy Bohne reports that the first round of interviews for a new head tennis pro at Farmfield Avenue’s Charleston Tennis Center have taken place. Former head pro Fredrik Andersson left Charleston for Germany five weeks ago.
The spring Courting Kids program started this weekend and will continue next Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Alan Fleming Tennis Center on John’s Island and from 1-2:30 p.m. at the rebuilt Jack Amdams Tennis Center next to Johnson Hagood Stadium. The cost is a one-time fee of $10 for city residents and $25 for non-city residents. Contact Charleston Tennis Center (766-7401).
The Tri-County Elementary and Middle School Tennis League will start on March 9 with a total of 115 teams.
Old Dominion University’s men’s team will be in town all this coming week and will practice daily from noon to 3 p.m. at Charleston Tennis Center.
The Lowcountry Junior Challenger is set for March 13-15 at Charleston Tennis Center. Registration is available online at www.sctennis.com.
A celebration of the renovation of the Jack Adams Tennis Center will be held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown complex.