Varsity Tennis – Road to States!


Gabby Hanson, Co-Editor

The 2021 fall sports season has earned Carolina Forest High School many new awards and titles.  One team that is definitely standing out is our Girls Tennis Team; they brought  home the SCHSL 5A State Championship trophy!

First year coach Alexis McNabb led the girls tennis team to states while beating some of the top teams in the state, something unheard of for the program here at The Forest.

On November 6, The Panthers defeated Riverside 7-0 bringing home the State Championship at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Columbia, S.C. The Panthers went 6-0 in their Region 6 5A tournament and finished the season 19-0 overall.

The Riverbluff girls gave the Panthers a “run for their money,” commented Coach Alexis McNabb.

Freshman Olivia Bull was the team’s No. 1 player in singles as well as doubles with match partner, eighth-grader Katie Godfree, who played No. 2 in singles. Bull helped carry her team, bringing home the bronze in Class AAAAA/AAAA Singles Individual Competition as well.

Bull shares, “Some challenges I faced as an individual this season was having to get through some tough matches because I knew every match was important if we wanted to make it all the way through to states. One thing that I think brought my team to states is our ability to work so well together and always being there to support each other.”

However,  it took more than the one duo to get to States.   Junior Mia Cabildo was No. 3 in singles, freshman Kristina Miroff No. 4, freshman Payton Yates No. 5, seventh-grader Ellie Yates No. 6 and freshman Lauren Spain No. 7. Ellie Yates and Spain also played No. 2 doubles.

Greyson Orr, junior, adds, “Honestly, this season was so good. As a team we didn’t face many challenges. The second time we played Socastee was very difficult and nerve-wracking because it was the closest match we had all season. As they were the reigning state champs, it was a very big accomplishment to beat them. I think the level of skill on our team is amazing. So many of the girls have put in hours of work into their game and it paid off in the state playoffs. Tennis is fun, but it’s very strategic and technical. Our team has put in thousands upon thousands of hours of practice, and it was great to see the hard work pay off.”

Coach McNabb ended with, “We had a fantastic year and States was the icing on the cake for us. The girls worked really hard and had some tough matches that day because of the wind and how cold it was.”

Congratulations, Lady Panthers!