Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

April 30, 2012

Lady Panthers’ season comes to an end with first round loss

Scott Phillips
The Americus Times-Recorder

AMERICUS — The Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers tennis season came to an end on Thursday as the girl’s dropped their first round match-up with the visiting Howard High School Lady Huskies out of Macon, Georgia.

The Lady Panthers dropped a 4-1 decision to a tough Lady Husky tennis team. Howard certianly did not look like a fourth-seeded team as they left Americus with a sizeable win over the Lady Panthers.

In the number one singles match, Lauren Resnick took on an extremely tough Jasi Witherspoon of Howard. Witherspoon played an extremely tough match and grinded her way to two 1-6 set victories to earn the win for her Lady Huskies.

Jennifer Pinnell then took on Alexis Collier in the number two singles match. Pinnell put up a strong fight in the first set, but Collier fought back to reclaim the lead and take the set 6-4. In the second set, Collier would race out to the lead and never look back as she siezed a 6-1 set victory to seal the match.

Collier’s win gave the Lady Huskies a 2-0 lead, needing only one more match victory to earn the win and advance to the second round of the payoffs. The Lady Huskies would get this win in the final singles match, as well as winning one of the two doubles matches in the contest.

The number three singles match featured Camille Bennett of Americus-Sumter and Maria Paola Rodriguez of Howard. Bennett would battle in the first set before losing 4-6 going into the second set. In the second set, Rodriguez would continue to play a stong match, and would take the set 6-3 to defeat Bennett and clinch the match victory for the Lady Huskies.

With the match decided, Kia Blackmon and Maggie Perez of Americus-Sumter would take on Chelsea Carr and Kristen Collier of Howard. The girls from Americus-Sumter would drop their first set 2-6, and would only win one more game in the second set as they fell 3-6 to give the Lady Huskies a 4-0 lead with one match to play.

Ciara James and Sara Westra would take on Collin Partain and Cecily Reese in the final match of the day in the number two doubles match-up. James and Westra would play a dominating match, and they would earn the sole victory of the day for the Lady Panthers. James and Westra played a near-flawless first set, and the pair from Americus-Sumter took a 6-4 first set victory. In the second set, Howard would battle back to claim the set 6-2 and force a third set tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker set, however, it was all Lady Panthers and James and Westra would dominate the set to earn another 6-4 set victory and claim match.

Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers the win at number two doubles would not be enough to earn the overall match victory. Still, the Lady Panthers had an amazing season where they finished second in a very tough 1-AAA tennis Region. The Lady Panthers will return a very tough squad next year to compete for another Region 1-AAA title. Juniors Ciara James, Jennifer Pinnell, and Lauren Resnick will return for their senior seasons looking to go out in style. They Lady Panthers will also return freshmen Camille Bennett, Sara Westra, and Maggie McCoy to help reach the goal of a Region Title. Seniors Kia Blackmon, Ashley Jordan, Quaderia Lewis, and Maggie Perez will be the only four girls graduating following the 2012 season.