Philip Simmons, BE girls tennis teams advance with playoff wins
Richard Schultz is a tennis coach and a tennis aficionada. He also is a man of many words.
But Schulz, who coaches the Philip Simmons High School girls’ varsity tennis team, needs only two words to describe his team: very young.
“I have a wonderful group of very young players,” Schulz said after his squad traveled to Barnwell last Monday night and bounced its opponent 6-0 in the second round of the Class AA playoffs.
The team is so young that only five players made the trip because it was a school night and many had homework.
“They are a very nice country team,” Schulz said of Barnwell. They have a good team, but they are not year-round tennis players. But they are the nicest team.”
The Philip Simmons team that beat Barnwell included freshman Sydney Mims; eighth-graders Ansley Cohen, Amelia Whirrett, and Olivia DeMarco; and seventh-grader Izzie Johnson.
The Iron Horses have taken some lumps during the season, posting a 5-8 record. But don’t scoff at the record. Be impressed with the competition. The schedule included seven teams that could reach the state finals, including Class AAAAA entry River Bluff and Class AAA powerhouse Bishop England from the High School League. The schedule also included SCISA powers Porter-Gaud and Ashley Hall, which was recently crowned state champs. Ashley Hall dominated the youthful Iron Horses 6-0 early in the season, but the Iron Horses showed just how much they improved as they just missed beating Ashley Hall before the Panthers won with a victory in doubles play.
Philip Simmons plays at Hannah-Pamplico on Monday and a victory would set up a Lower State championship match against Oceanside Collegiate.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” Schulz said. “We have a chance. I believe the Oceanside coach would tell you anyone can win that match.”
BISHOP ENGLAND TENNIS
The Bishop England girls’ tennis team is perfect after the first two rounds of the Class AAA playoffs. The Bishops beat Cheraw 6-0 in the first round and then served up a 6-0 victory over Pelion. They host Aynor on Thursday night, and a victory in the third round would set up a Lower State championship match against the winner of the Academic Magnet-Waccamaw match.
The state championship is set for Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.
The Bishops are seeking their ninth consecutive state title and have won 42 straight playoff matches. Bishop England is also aiming for its 24th state tennis title overall.