WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central Lady Griffins tennis team built upon last year’s breakthrough playoff season and this year, they not only made the playoffs, they won their region.
The Griffins kept up with their season of firsts last Thursday with a first round playoff victory at home versus the Cheraw Braves. FCHS swept the match 6-0 and were set to take on the Abbeville Panthers, a team Coach George “Bones” Boulware admitted made him nervous because he knew little about them heading into a Monday match.
“Overall this season and in our first match, we prepared and played well,” he said. “The girls have played up to their potential. I thought we would be prepared and ready for the regular season. Now that the playoff are here we have to step up with intensity and our A game because (of the level of competition).”
For the match his first seed Daijah Davis defeated Cheraw’s Hannah Crowder in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
Bre Coad won in straight sets over Cheraw’s Janna McIntyre, 6-1, 6-2. The three other Griffins who competed individually also won in straight sets with Desta Pauling defeating Chandler McIntyre 6-3 6-0, with Chanel Burns beating Victoria Harpe 6-1 6-0, and with Ashontae Woodard defeating Jordon Quick 7-6 6-4.
Woodard drew the lone senior to compete for the Braves, making her task a tough one, according to her coach. She came out and battled hard for herself and her teammates, though, he said.. The Griffins too, the doubles match in straight sets with Moesha Young and Cora Foster triumphing over Cheraw’s Carolina Polsan and Miranda Wallace by scores of 6-2 and 6-1.
Boulware said the players understand the urgency of the playoffs this fall. One loss and the season ends.
Still, Boulware is confident in the all-around tennis game of his proteges. “They have good backhand and forehand ground strokes,” he said.
That was a point of emphasis in the off season and throughout the season for the team as they worked on being able to withstand volleys and rallies during challenging matches.He also said that playoff experience from a year ago really helped the girls learn what it takes to achieve loftier goals.
Should the Griffins advance they will either play undefeated Mid-Carolina or Powdersville on Nov. 6 at a location to be determined. The state championship match is set for noon Nov. 9 at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.
The playoff match versus Abbeville started Monday around 4 p.m. but results were not available at press time.