- Smith Stearns Students Collect Seven Titles at Palmetto Championships

hayley belton
Hayley Carter once again led the way this past week at the Palmetto Championships (SC State Closed) that was held May 24-28, in Belton, South Carolina capturing her 15th and 16th titles respectively. With those wins she goes down in history as one of the the best players to play South Carolina tennis, breaking the record by winning the most SC State Championships. She won the girls 18 and under singles championship by defeating Ansley Speaks, 6-0,6-0. For the doubles championship, Carter partnered with Speaks and defeated Olivia Lucas and Rachel McNeely 8-0.

Carter was not alone in her dominance as academy students won a total of 7 Palmetto Championships while also having a significant number of top 8 finishes.

robert and kyle belton
Robert Loeb won the boys 16 and under singles title defeating fellow academy student Kyle Barr in the finals. Loeb and Barr also teamed up to win the doubles championship.
Ali DeSpain dominated the girls 14 and under division winning both the singles and doubles titles.
The girls 16 and under division was loaded with Smith Stearns players as 6 out of the 8 quarterfinalist were academy students.  Natalie Kitchen was a finalist in the singles and doubles championship. Cameron Kriscunas won the doubles title with partner McKenna Jones defeating fellow academy students Kitchen and Sydnee Wheeler in the finals. Kriscunas and Ellie Czura placed in the top 4 of the singles and, Mary Hampton McNeal and Wheeler placed in the top 8.
As an unseeded player, Matt Kandel made it all the way to the semifinals of the boys 12 and under division.
g16 dubs belton
Other top 8 finishes include Kelly Mengel and Kate Christensen in the girls 18’s and Catie Meighan and Elle Christensen in the girls 14’s.
All top 8 finishers secure an automatic spot to play in the Southern Closed Championship which will be held at various sites around the section from June 15-22.
Congratulations to all of our Smith Stearns students who competed this week at the Palmetto Championships!

Smith Stearns Participants

Ali D BeltonConnor Barr – B14
Kyle Barr – B16
Audrey Bennett – G16
Allie Burak – G18
Hayley Carter – G18
Elle Christensen – G14
Kate Christensen – G18
Julie Clark – G18
Ellie Czura – G16
Catie Meighan Belton PicMadison Daniel – G14
McKenzie Daniel – G12
Ali DeSpain – G14
Matt Kandel – G12
Jack Kelly – B14
Natalie Kitchen – G16
Cameron Kriscunas – G16
Robert Loeb – B16
Mary Hampton McNeal – G16
Catie Meighan – G14
Kelly Mengel – G18
Shannon O’Brien – G16
Sydnee Wheeler – G16
Elizabeth Williams – G16

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