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USTA SC is First Runner Up at Southern Junior Cup

September 16, 2008 01:52 PM

The USTA SC 2008 Southern Junior Cup Team (Ages 14s – 18s) won 2nd place overall in the top (Gold) division this past weekend in Chattanooga, TN. This is the best performance a South Carolina team has had since 1994.

The SC team beat out Mississippi and North Carolina to advance to the Gold division and then on Saturday played Alabama in Singles, but still needed 3 doubles to win. The team came away with 4 of the doubles on Sunday morning which guaranteed them 2nd place overall. Georgia once again took 1st place, but our players took home some victories against Georgia and surprised the Southern Staff and the Georgia team. The rest of the states need to look out for the future, however, as South Carolina had some very young players on our team this year. They already have a goal to beat Georgia next year and most every player said they are going to put qualifying for an invitation to this event at the top of their goals to earn for next year.

The South Carolina coaches, Joey Eskridge of Charleston and Gary Agardy of Greenwood were key elements in this huge win. They worked extremely hard getting to know the players, warming them up, setting the line ups for the next match, running from court to court to catch them between games to give them on court coaching, encouraging them when they were down. These were long hard days. Friday night the players and coaches were all at the tennis center from 6:30 AM until 10:00 PM. (matches continue back to back, so you can not leave).

The South Carolina players bonded as a team and supported each other the entire weekend. The older players were very supportive of the new kids on the team and the entire team showed great spirit. The second night the team still had one player on the court at 7:00PM (which is when the banquet was beginning). Molly O' Koniewski was in a battle with a Georgia player. She gave her a tough match and came up just short with her 3-6, 5-7 loss. Not bad, especially considering her opponent was the #1 player in the Southern standings, Whitney Kay. (Molly had already defeated the #38, #23 and #18 in the Girl’s 18s Southern Section). Our entire team stayed to support her with loud cheers from the stands. Head Coach Joey Eskridge made particular note of this saying "everyone cheered for their teammates and represented our state with excellent play and class."

The team did well and came home with high spirits, along with a desire to see their names at the top of the leaderboard next year. The Southern Junior Cup is a team-based competition where juniors from across the USTA Southern Section face off.

Event Player's Name City
Boys' 14s Thomas Johnson Spartanburg
Addison King Mt. Pleasant
David Parker Anderson
Boys' 16s Christopher Cox Myrtle Beach
Kyle Koch Irmo
Hunter Harrington Spartanburg
Boys' 18s Bobby Browning Florence
Cal Hilsman Spartanburg
John Karle Daniel Island
Girls' 14s Morgan Chumney Fort Mill
Ansley Speaks Simpsonville
Anna Kate Anderson Spartanburg
Girls' 16s Alexis Prickett Mt. Pleasant
Leyla Erkan Hilton Head Island
Ashleigh Antal Hilton Head Island
Girls' 18s Molly O' Koniewski Hilton Head Island
Alex Martin Mt. Pleasant
Michelle Green Hilton Head Island

southern junior cup team