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Pirates’ Dillard trying to lead by example

Porter Ridge No. 1 Lillian Dillard

(Story reprinted with permission from The Enquirer Journal)

Porter Ridge senior tennis player Lillian Dillard is off to a 5-1 start this season as the number one player for the Pirates. Dillard notched her latest victory on Monday with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Cuthbertson’s Caytie Clemons.

Dillard was able to best the aggressive Clemons with a number of lobs to the backcourt when Clemons came to the net. “She was really consistent at the net, so I thought it was the best way to pass her,” Dillard said. “It felt really good. I made sure I moved my feet and hustled.”

Dillard wasn’t crushing many balls but her consistency made up for it against the harder hitter.

Dillard has tried to use that consistency to set an example for the Pirates to reach their goals.
“I think our goals this season have been to play as a team,” she said. “We make sure that we all know that we have a part on the team. It’s a new conference so you can’t assume that you’re going to win or lose. You just have to come in and do your best. I try to come in with a level head. I make sure to try my best. We try to keep pushing forward even if we don’t win. I make sure I push myself hard in practice. You practice how you play.”

The Pirates moved this season from the 3A/4A Southern Carolina Conference to the all 4A Southwestern Conference. This brings a new challenge for the Pirates.

“Instead of having either really good or not as strong teams, it’s a lot of very consistent teams,” Dillard said. “They are very close in strength so it comes down to doubles a lot.”

Written by: Eric Rape of the Enquirer Journal; Photo by Ed Cottingham
Posted: Sep 26, 2013 by April Dawkins

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