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Lady Bulldog netters edge Dreher, 4-3

Posted: September 19, 2013 10:08 a.m.
Updated: September 20, 2013 1:00 a.m.

After having opened conference play with losses to A.C. Flora and River Bluff, the Camden  girls’ tennis team found their way into the win column with a 4-3 road victory on Tuesday against Dreher at the Columbia Tennis Center. 
 Madison Hudson set the tone for the Lady Bulldogs with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 win over Mary Louise Boylston at first singles. Hudson was the first player off the court. 
“I think Madison’s goal was to be the first off the court tonight.  She did an excellent job of setting the tone and moving her opponent around,” said CHS head coach Stephen Sutusky. 
Fellow senior Maggie Wehunt also earned a singles win at fourth singles, defeating Morgan Hanner 6-3, 6-4. “Maggie was in control the entire match and is really playing well right now,” said Sutusky. 
Camden lost two two close matches in fifth singles and second doubles. Mackenzie Pendleton, an eighth-grader, saw her first singles action at number five and led throughout the first set, before losing the match.
“I was proud of Mackenzie for the way she competed,” Sutusky said. “She actually did not know she was playing until a few minutes before the match when a teammate was too sick to play. She stepped in and she was ready.”
Clarke Allen, a singles starter, was moved to second doubles by Sutusky for this pairing in hopes of securing a doubles win. She teamed up with Miranda Brown.  The Clarke-Brown duo lost the first set 6-2, but earned a 6-4 second set win to set up a match tie-breaker. Clarke and Brown lost 11-9, but had a 9-8 advantage in the final stages.
“We lost a tough doubles match that could have gone either way,” Sutusky said. “I was just so proud they competed hard and gave themselves a chance to win in the end.”
In the final matchup of the night, on the second singles court, CHS junior Kelsey Williams outlasted Kailey Addison 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in a marathon match which lasted nearly two hours, forcing the playing of number one singles to decide the match.
Sutusky elected to send out his two seniors --- Hudson and Wehunt --- as a doubles tandem since Williams had played a long, close match. 
“I just thought it was in our best interest to give Kelsey a break, since she had laid it all out on the line to get us to the match deciding doubles match,” said Sutusky. 
Hudson and Wehunt, who previously teamed up as doubles teammates while in middle school, dropped the first set in first doubles, 7-6 (7-5), but won the second set in  convincing fashion 6-0 to set up a match tie-breaker which was won by the Camden duo, 10-8. 
“We struggled early on with our volleys,” Sutusky said. “But Maggie and Madison made great adjustments and both started playing back, as opposed to one at the net, and that really gave us an advantage
“When we took the second set in such convincing fashion, I felt pretty confident about the tie-breaker because we had completely taken the Dreher girls off their game.
“I was proud of the way all of our girls competed.  Even in some losing efforts we played well and played hard”

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