First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s boys tennis team won the region title, but fell in the state playoffs.
According to tennis coach April Causer, there were four Highlander boys on the tennis team.
“The boys had a really good season,” she said noting that Parris Willis did well at the region meet.
However, Causer said two of her Highlanders were injured, preventing them from being able to play at the state playoffs, and the school from fielding a full team.
Willis and Brantley McCorkle played in individual matches at the state tournament.
Willis won the first match at state.
“But in his second match, he tried really hard but he couldn’t pull it out,” Causer said.
McCorkle, who placed third in the region match, also lost in the first round match of the state.
The boys team included Willis, McCorkle, Clayton Gilroy and Gregory Cannata.
Causer said her Lady ’Landers were all first year players. She said it was a rebuilding season, but that she was impressed with Kathi Wulff, a foreign exchange student.
“She tried hard and improved throughout the season,” Causer said, adding that during the region tournament Wulff won her first match in comeback fashion.
“She lost the first set but she fought back and won the second set in a tie breaker,” the coach said. “In the third set the other girl was just too tired … at that point it was a battle of who could hold out and she did.
That game took two hours. After that, she got a 45 minute break and then had to play her next match.”
In the second game, Wulff lost the first set but started to gain the lead in the second before fatigue set in and she lost.
“She was too tired,” Causer said. “I felt bad because she really wanted to go to state and all she had to do was win that one match. But she said she just didn’t have anything left to give.”
The girls’ team included Wulff, Kara Robinson, Alicia Dye and Autumn Beasley.
Causer called the season successful and added the kids enjoyed the year.
“They all said they had fun and enjoyed it and that is the main reason I do it,” she said. “To go out and get some exercise and have fun playing the sport.”
Causer says she places no pressure on her players to win.
“That is not what they are here for,” she said. “This sport is to have fun…that is what most sports are for…to have fun. If you are good at it, great, but the main thing is to love the sport and have fun at it.”
She said Willis, a senior, is looking to take his tennis career to the college level if possible.
“He has talked about it,” she said. “He is trying to get with the tennis coach at Brewton-Parker because the day that they had their tryouts we had a match so he couldn’t go. He is talking to a school in Virginia as well…he would like to get a tennis scholarship.”
Causer said next year all the girls are coming back and two of her boys are expected to return as well.
She added she would like to see the players stay active in tennis as much as possible during the off-season.
“I run the Liberty County Recreation Department tennis programs over the summer and I told the players that if they wanted to stay active in tennis that they should sign up for the camp,” she said.