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Flora hands Bulldog tennis team 5-1 setback

Posted: April 4, 2014 10:30 a.m.
Updated: April 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

This was hardly the start to the second half of the season which Camden High tennis coach Roger Smoak was looking for from his team.
Visiting Region 4-AAA A.C. Flora rival pinned a 5-1 loss on the Bulldogs on Thursday as CHS fell to 6-5 overall and, more importantly, 1-5 in conference play. Still, the veteran Bulldog boss was not upset with his team’s effort.
“I was proud of our guys for hanging in there,” Smoak said. “A.C. Flora has a very good team and they are back to where they were when they would win the region every year. They had 40 kids try out for their team and they are one of the stronger teams around.”
Junior Nelson Semple gave the hosts their lone win of the day when he outlasted Brandon Douglass in first singles, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0. “Nelson doesn’t think he’s had a good workout unless his match goes three sets,” Smoak said of Semple. “The good thing about Nelson is that he knows how to close and how to win at the end of the match.”
 It was all Falcons after that with Lukas McClamrock sweeping past Ben Goodrich, 6-4, 6-2, in second singles.  Austin Powell took a pair of 6-4 victories over Thomas deLoach in third singles while Alexander Glickman stopped Thomas Marshall in fourth singles, 6-3, 6-1. Hal Fant of Flora then held off Wilson Pope in fifth singles winning 4-6, 6-3, 1-0.
In Marshall’s match, Glickman’s unorthodox style of hitting “moon balls” frustrated the CHS sophomore while Pope, a seventh-grader played much better against his opponent than he did the first time around.
“Wilson only took one game from his guy the last time he played him,” Smoak said. “He went three sets this time and had a chance to win.”
The Camden second doubles tandem of Robert Lackey and K.P. Cassidy saw their seven-match win streak snapped in a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Zach Kirkland and Richard Kneece. “I thought Robert and K.P. played a good match,” Smoak said. “They played better in this match than they did in winning some of their other matches. But Flora’s doubles players could play up in the lineup for a lot of other teams.’
At the end of the day, Smoak said he could live with the final outcome of this match.
“We played as well as we could,” he said. “Flora is just better than we are. “Our guys have improved a lot. We’ve really come a long way since the start of the season. We have become a competitive team that can compete with anybody.”

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