High school playoff updates for tennis, volleyball, cross country
The Bishop England varsity girls’ tennis team hasn’t lost a match since 2017. With a 44-match winning streak heading into Saturday’s Class AAA state championship against Chapman, Coach Kristen Fleming Arnold says her team doesn’t feel the pressure.
“We don’t focus on streaks,” the BE alum-turned coach said. “We don’t focus on us losing a match. We focus on being confident and playing our best tennis.”
That’s a formula that worked last year as the Bishops went 23-0 and defeated a previously undefeated Chapman team 7-0 in the state championship last fall.
Saturday, the Bishops go after their ninth consecutive state championship and 24th title overall. A 24th title would put the Bishops in the top five nationally all-time for overall state titles, according to the National Federation of High School Sports’ record book.
The Bishops have defeated Cheraw, Pelion, Aynor and Waccamaw with identical 6-0 scores in their march to state finals, which will be contested at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.
No. 1 Lily Woods and the rest of her teammates flexed their collective muscle against Waccamaw on Monday night. Jenna Santa Lucia, MacKenzie Penton, Bella Nava, Sydney Severance, Elle Bredmann and Grace Carruthers also played well.
Meanwhile, the Philip Simmons girls’ team, one of the youngest Class AA challengers in the state, won its first round of the playoffs against Barnwell and breezed past Hannah-Pamplico in the second round. But Oceanside Collegiate sidelined the Iron Horses with a 4-2 decision Monday night in the Lower State Championship.
The Philip Simmons volleyball team continues to show improvement, and the 2019 season was no exception. The team posted an 18-7-1 record under coach Jay Wattersworth and had an impressive playoff run. The Iron Horses defeated Woodland in the first round of the Class AA playoffs and followed that up with victories over East Clarendon and Carvers Bay. But Oceanside Collegiate Academy was too much for the young Iron Horses.
For Bishop England, this fall marks the first time since 1998 that the Bishops failed to reach the state championship match. The girls team finished second in Region 7-AAA to Academic Magnet, began tournament play as a No. 2 seed and defeated Loris in the first round. But Gilbert knocked off the Bishops in the second round.
Philip Simmons and Bishop England fared well in the first leg of the journey to the State Cross Country Championships.
The Iron Horse girls and boys both claimed first place in the Region 6-AA Championships while the BE boys won the Region 7-AAA title, and the Bishop girls finished second.
The Iron Horses had little competition in either 5-kilometer race as Hailey Meyers, Josie May, Emma Wood and Grace Ward finished 1-4, respectively. The boys also claimed the top four spots with Noah Ward in first, followed by Thomas Schmenk, Colin Nemeth and Henry Wood.
Mark Richter led the BE boys with a first-place finish while Logan Desciak was runner-up and Daniel Infante was fourth. Mary Wallace Rainero led the BE girls with a third-place finish.