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Lady Bulldogs breeze to 4-AAA title

Posted: October 17, 2018 3:46 p.m.
Updated: October 19, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Johnny Deal/Bowtie Photography

THE CAMDEN LADY BULLDOGS won the Region 4-AAA girls’ tennis championship and will host a state tournament first round match next Wednesday. Pictured here, from left, are head coach Pamela Smoak, Emily Guy, Lexie Setzer, Eliza Reames, Mary Dawson Lindsay, Jenna McKoy, Imani Wyatt and Madison Montgomery.

When she took over the reins to the Camden High girls’ tennis team earlier this year, the first goal which Pamela Smoak set for the program was to win the Region 4-AAA title.

Tuesday, playing on the courts named in honor of Pamela’s father, the Lady Bulldogs repeated as conference champions with a 6-0 blitzing of Keenan on Senior Day at the Roger Smoak Tennis Courts.

The shutout gave Camden an 8-0 league record and a first round AAA state playoff home match next Wednesday.

“It was a great way to celebrate our two seniors, Lexie Setzer and Mary Dawson Lindsay,” Smoak said of the pair who are in their fourth and third season with the program.

“Lexie began her tennis career taking lessons from my dad and it’s a privilege for me to walk with her through the end of her high school tennis career. She is such a hard worker and just a pleasure to coach. 

“Mary Dawson Lindsay has been our captain and has done a great job of encouraging our team. She’s also improved so much during the course of this year. I’m thankful for both of these girls and their leadership with our team.”

Setzer, playing third single, won her match, 6-0, 6-0, while Lindsay teamed with Madison Montgomery for a 6-1, 6-2 victory in second doubles.

Imani Wyatt won at first singles, 6-1, 6-3, before Anne Margaret Hutto did likewise at second singles, winning 6-0, 6-3. Emily Guy blanked her opponent by identical 6-0 scores at fourth singles while Eliza Reames won via forfeit at fifth singles.

“This team has been such a pleasure to coach,” Smoak said. “It’s a very special group with a wide range of ages varying from seventh to 12th grade. They have been with each other and have supported each other all season long. They pray together, encourage each other and are there for each other both on and off the courts. And more than anything, the way they treat each other and pull for each other, is the thing that I’m most proud of. 

“I enjoyed playing tennis throughout my career but I think coaching has been more rewarding in so many ways. It’s been a pleasure to watch the girls come together as a team and work hard to accomplish our goals we set at the beginning of the season. We tend to think of tennis as an individual sport but that’s the beauty of high school tennis ... we truly are a team.”

Camden will host the fourth-place finisher out of Region 1 in next Wednesday’s tourney opener. Smoak said she hopes it will be the start of a long postseason run. “I want us to keep winning for many reasons but mainly because it gives us the opportunity to keep working together. This team is like a family to each other and to me.”

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