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CHS netters blow past Sumter

Posted: March 13, 2014 2:23 p.m.
Updated: March 14, 2014 5:00 a.m.

With the gusting wind virtually turning the tennis ball into a badminton shuttlecock, Camden overcame the conditions and some unsettling play in the second set to come away with a 6-0 home court win over 4A Sumter on Wednesday.
The victory evened the Bulldogs’ record at 1-1 on the season while giving head coach Roger Smoak his 585th win at the helm of the CHS boys’ program. Needless to say, however, this will not go down as one of the Bulldogs’ most artistic matches given the blustery conditions which caused players from both sides to alter their game.
“Sumter is an improved team from last year and they have a little more experience,” Smoak said. “It looked like they improved more from last year to this year than we did. We were better than they were, but we were just not as consistent as we should have been.”
Smoak’s words were proven by his team’s winning the first set in all six matches only to lose a pair of second sets while having another go to a second-set tie-breaker.
The three straight-set victories were supplied by junior Nelson Semple, who throttled Nick Smith, 6-2, 6-1, in first singles and Wilson Pope, a seventh-grader, picked up his first victory with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Luke Magnin at fifth singles. Th third came from eighth-grade doubles partners and cousins Robert Lackey and K.P. Cassidy breezing past Max Farley and Aaron Taylor, 6-1, 6-0.
Camden was extended to third-set tie-breakers in second singles with Ben Goodrich outlasting Brad Watkins, 6-2, 4-6, 10-3, and in third singles as Thomas deLoach held off Dan Jackson, 6-4, 5-7, 10-2. In fourth singles, Thomas Marshall downed Patrick Collins, 6-0, 7-6 (7-1).
“We won our first sets pretty easily, but we were real inconsistent,” Smoak said of the scores. “We played real well at times and at other times, we didn’t play so well.
“I was glad that everybody we had won. I was proud of all of our guys and for their effort. We needed to get that confidence that you get when you win a match. I think that we’re going to get better, though. I don’t feel like we’re playing our best tennis, yet.”

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