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Trinity-Byrnes High School
Florence

 

Move up to AAA doesn’t faze T-B girls tennis squad

By Justin Driggers
Consulting Editor

Darlington – Trinity-Byrnes School’s girls tennis team captured the SCISA Class AA state championship last season with a perfect 16-0 mark.
The Lady Titans were 10-0 on the year as of Sept. 28, and have their sights set on capturing the AAA title this season.
T-B lost just one of its starting six players from a year ago in Lizzy Johnston, who was the No. 2 singles players. 
“I thought we would be pretty strong this year,” head coach Jeff Murrell said. “We have two juniors on the team and all of the rest of our team are younger – freshmen or eighth graders. We’ve also had three seventh graders join the team who are pretty good. So, yeah I thought we’d have a pretty strong team.”
That was evident in the Florence Tennis Association Girls’ High School tournament. Pitting 16 public and private high schools from across North and South Carolinas, the Lady Titans wound up third overall. “That was the best showing for anybody (in S.C.),” Murrell said.
T-B also has picked up a pair of big SCISA AAA victories already over Porter-Gaud and Ashley Hall – the same two teams who played for the state championship last year.
“We have a very strong No. 1 player (McKenzie Davis), but I’d say we’re very strong at the bottom – Nos. 4, 5 and 6,” Murrell said. “Typically, teams aren’t as strong at those positions, but those three really anchor us at the end.”
Davis is the top singles player and has only lost one match this season in a third-set tiebreaker against Porter-Gaud. She’s only a freshman, but was the No. 1 player last year as an eighth grader during the Lady Titans’ run to the state title.
Junior Haley Davis has taken over the No. 2 position with eighth-grader Schipman Johnston behind her at No. 3. 
Freshmen Maggie Murrell and Claire Peebles are next at Nos. 4 and 5 with seventh-grader Morgan Banner rounding out the top six. 
The top doubles team is made up of Davis and Davis. The No. 2 doubles team has been a combination of a lot of different players, coach Murrell said, but Banner and Laurel Casstevens played very well. 
“We only have four matches left,” Murrell added. “I really feel like we have a good chance to make it back to the (state) finals. We face some really tough teams until then, but we’d certainly like to win back-to-back titles.”

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