BHS boys tennis team advances in playoffs
The Barnwell High boys tennis team was hitting on all cylinders Friday at home in the opening round of the class AA playoffs against the Swamp Foxes of Marion High.
For the Lower State No. 2-seeded Warhorses, it was business was usual as the team netted an easy 6-1 victory over the Swamp Foxes.
With the win, Barnwell High advances to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Barnwell High coach Jeff Miller said the team continues to play with confidence.
“We believe in each other - that’s the biggest reason we’re moving on in the playoffs,” Miller said. “Overall, I’m very pleased with the entire team effort. This team is very young and they continue to learn the game of tennis.”
Fueling the way for the Warhorses was No. 1 player Sam Ben Solomons. Solomons made quick work of Ju’Quan Fryson of the Swamp Foxes with scores of 6-0 and 6-2.
“Sam Ben Solomons played one of his best matches today. He is always very consistent and has a very smooth stroke,” Miller said.
Barnwell High Chris Sullivan’s play was nearly flawless at No. 2 singles against Derrian Bethea of Marion High. Sullivan recorded eight aces in a straight set 6-0, 6-0 victory.
“Chris Sullivan is the team’s emotional leader and he gives a great effort every match,” Miller said. “When his serves are on target, his opponents have a little chance of success.”
The No. 3 singles match between Jackson Solomons of BHS and Jimmy McBride of Marion High was the most competitive of the day.
Solomons grabbed the early momentum with a 6-1 score in the first set. McBride responded by taking set two by a score of 6-2. Solomons then outlasted McBride in the tiebreaker set by an 11-9 count.
“Great win by Jackson,” Miller said. “I thought he showed a lot of poise down the stretch to pull out the win.”
In No. 4 singles, Lionel Mason of BHS played with a lot of grit, but came up short in a hard-fought match by scores of 4-6, 6-2 and 10-5.
Barnwell High Animesha Sahu of No. 5 singles displayed his mental toughness in his match against Jacoby Moody of Marion High.
After suffering a disappointing 1-6 loss in the first set, Sahu quickly recovered and fired back with wins of 6-2 and 10-5 to close out the match.
In doubles play, the Warhorse No. 1 team of Sam Ben Solomons and Chris Sullivan scored an 8-6 win.
In No. 2 doubles, the Warhorse tandem of Collin Sitton and Ritchvik Oruganti ran their record to 9-1 season with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Marion High’s Brandon Cross and Brandon Ayers.
In other tennis news, Sam Ben Solomons and Chris Sullivan were selected to play in the State Singles Tournament on May 15 at Cayce Tennis Center.