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Bulldogs race past Gamecocks, 5-1

Posted: April 24, 2012 3:44 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2012 5:00 a.m.

These are the days when you don’t mind your team not being at full-strength.
Missing two of their top four singles players, the Camden High tennis team breezed to their eighth straight win by upending Sumter, 5-1, last Thursday in Sumter.
The Bulldogs improved to 11-3 on the season heading into this afternoon 5 p.m. home pairing with Irmo. On Thursday, Roger Smoak’s troops close the regular season with a road match at Wilson.
As for the win over the Gamecocks, Camden swept all five singles matches to put this one away early on an afternoon in which the guests had several different faces in new places on their ladder.
“We were missing some people for different reasons,” Smoak said. “This was a good opportunity to move some of our players up.”
Staying put at first singles was Jo Jo Tiller, who raised his season record to 13-0 in singles with a pair of 6-0 victories over Chris Galloway. Freshman Nelson Semple was bumped into second singles and took down Van Jackson, 6-1, 6-2. Ben Goodrich made the jump from fifth to third singles and extended his win streak to 10 in a row by downing Ryan Mathis, 6-4, 6-1.
“Our old dependables, Jo Jo and Nelson, came through for us again,” Smoak said. “And, Ben continued with his win streak. This was a good win for him.”
Thomas deLoach would outlast Will Cockrill, 3-6, 6-3, 12-10, in fourth singles before Carlos Williams, a starter at second doubles, won his first singles match by sweeping past Edward Gamble in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
“Thomas played a real gritty match,” Smoak said of deLoach. “He struggled in the first set, played better in the second and came back to gut it out in the tie-breaker.
“This was Carlos’ first singles match and he did a real good job at number five. He just keeps on improving with every match.”
Camden’s Thomas Marshall, an eighth-grader, teamed with Mac Lindsay, a seventh-grader, and fell to the older SHS tandem of Patrick Collins and Greg Robinson in second doubles, 6-4, 6-4.
“Thomas and Mac did a real good job in doubles against two older, high school kids,” Smoak said. “When you look at the 6-4 scores, we were just a service break away from winning both sets.”
With the state playoffs set to begin next Thursday, Smoak said he is putting plenty of emphasis on today’s match with Irmo, a team which CHS edged, 4-3, earlier this season along with Thursday’s pairing against a solid Wilson squad.
“We want to get ready for the state playoffs and Irmo is the type of team which will help do that for us,” he said. “Irmo has a good team and if we are going to beat them, then we have to play better than we did against them the first time.”

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