The Clinton High girls tennis team bowed out of the Class 3A state playoffs Thursday with a 6-0 loss to Belton-Honea Path at the Belton Tennis Center.
The Bears advance to Tuesday’s Upper State finals against Daniel with the victory. Daniel defeated Travelers Rest 7-0 Thursday.
The loss snapped a 13-match winning streak for the Region 4-3A champion Red Devils (13-1), who began the season with a loss to Newberry.
“They improved from the first ball to this last ball, there was a big jump,” said Clinton head coach Clovis Simmons, whose team had to replace three graduated seniors from last year’s squad, including two now playing collegiately.
The loss to BHP was highlighted by a split-set marathon between Clinton’s Kimora Wesley and BHP’s Natalie Brown that lasted over two hours, finishing around 7:20 p.m. Brown won the tie-break 10-5. After dropping the first set 6-2, Wesley rallied to win the second set 6-4 to force the tiebreaker.
“It was a good run,” Simmons said. “It was respectable. We competed well, and that’s how you want it at this point – to get out there and hit every ball like it’s your last one and compete well. That’s what we did.”
Here are complete results from Thursday’s match:
Belton-Honea Path 6, Clinton 0
Singles: No. 2 Maggie LeCroy def. Chandler Dailey 6-1, 6-3; No. 2 Jessica Callahan def. Libby Dailey 6-1, 6-0; No. 3 Natalie Brown def. Kimora Wesley 6-2, 4-6 (10-5); No. 4 Elizabeth Knight def. Carley MacMillan 6-0, 6-1; No. 5 Rainey Gaines def. Addy Derrick 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles: No. 2 Taylor Bell and Isabella Cardoso def. Peyton Nabors and Deborah Goldman 6-0, 6-2.