April 17, 2014

Region tennis roundup: Six area teams clinch spots in state

Dalton High School’s tennis teams finished their business quickly on the first day of the Region 7-4A tournament.

Coach David Hilley had no problem with that.

The Catamounts and Lady Cats each won 3-0 in second-round matches — the No. 1 seeds from Sub-region 7B-4A, both had byes before facing Gilmer and Pickens, respectively — on Wednesday at Lakeshore Park in Dalton to earn spots in the Class 4A state tournament.

The tournament semifinals are set for this morning. At 10 a.m., the Cats (14-4) face Sub-region 7B-4A No. 5 seed Northwest Whitfield (10-3) — which beat Cedartown 3-2 to reach the semifinals — while the Lady Cats (9-9) will play Cedartown, which ended the season for Northwest’s Lady Bruins (7-6) with a 3-2 win Wednesday.

In the 11:30 a.m. boys semifinal, River Ridge, the Sub-region 7A-4A champion, plays 7B-4A No. 2 seed Heritage-Catoosa. At the same time, Sub-region 7A-4A champion Cass takes on 7B-4A No. 2 seed LaFayette in the other girls semifinal. The third-place matches are at 2 p.m., while the championship matches are at 3:30 p.m.

While Northwest and Cedartown needed to sweat out their wins in the boys bracket on Wednesday, Dalton coasted.

“If the seeds (hold true), things (are supposed) to go a little quicker for us,” Hilley said. “I want to get done and move on to the next round. You’ll have nerves in the first (match), and in the second (match) you’ll feel more comfortable.”

Against Gilmer, Dalton got singles wins from No. 1 Jacob Johnson, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Shazman Ali, 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, No. 1 Will Alderman and Ryan Harper won 6-0, 6-0 against Russ Henderson and Mel Mosley.

Dalton’s Nathan Bryant led 6-2, 4-1 at No. 3 singles, while in doubles Dalton’s No. 2 team of Thomas DeLay and Nicholas Nelson were up 6-1, 4-0 when the Cats earned the team victory and play was stopped.

Even with a quick win, Johnson is confident his team will be ready today.

“I’m sure tomorrow morning we’ll go hit some,” Johnson said. “A lot of times, it’s nice to play a good, long match to get everything working. In other ways, it’s good to get it done.”

The Lady Cats beat Pickens with a doubles sweep — No. 1 Caroline Calfee and Mackenzie Creswell won 6-1, 6-1 and No. 2 Mary Margaret Snipes and Shelby Fromm won 6-1, 6-2 — and a 6-1, 6-2 singles victory from No. 3 Sydney Tankersley.

Dalton was ahead in both singles matches when the team win was clinched. No. 1 Chandler Renz led 6-1, 3-2 and No. 2 Olivia Dinges led 6-1, 3-0.

Hilley said both Dalton teams are in the state tournament for at least the 12th year in a row — the extent of his tenure with the program.

Like Dalton, Northwest had byes in the first round.

In the Bruins’ win against Cedartown, they swept doubles with wins from No. 1 Cody Bourff and Blake Frankenberger, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, and No. 2 Santi Angel and Jamez Zhong, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Their other team point came at No. 3 singles as Troy Poe won 6-4, 6-3.

The Bruins are back in the state tournament for the first time since 2010. Coach Ryan Richards returned to the tennis court this year after last coaching the teams in 2004.  He also leads the school’s boys basketball program.

“It was looking pretty dim with our top two singles guys losing,” Richards said, “but I was really excited to see our No. 1 and 2 doubles guys winning to fight back from dropping the first sets.”

The Lady Bruins, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed from 7B-4A, got a No. 2 singles win from Sara Richards, 6-1, 6-2, and a No. 2 doubles win from Megan Richards and Mary Kate Jones, 7-5, 6-0.

The Gilmer boys and Pickens girls were fourth seeds from Sub-region 7A-4A and won 5-0 in Wednesday morning’s first-round matches against fifth-seeded Southeast Whitfield. The Raiders and Lady Raiders both finished the season 1-7.

• At the Region 5-3A tournament at Dellinger Park in Cartersville, Coahulla Creek’s boys and girls both won 5-0 to clinch Class 3A state tournament berths.

The top-seeded Coahulla Creek boys, who remained undefeated through 17 matches, topped eighth-seeded Gordon Central with singles wins from No. 1 Jake Mathis, 6-2, 6-0, No. 2 Chase Lynch, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Alex Jarjoura, 6-0, 6-0, plus doubles wins from No. 1 Austin Turner and Donovan Newby, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Andy Dixon and Austin Lansing, who accepted a forfeit.

Coahulla Creek faces Adairsville at 9 a.m. today in the semifinals. If the Colts win, they play at 2:30 p.m. in the region championship. If they lose, their third-place match is at 1 p.m.

The second-seeded Coahulla Creek girls (14-3) beat No. 7 seed North Murray (2-15) behind singles wins from No. 1 Erin Orem, 6-1, 6-0, No. 2 Kathryn Barker, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 3 Katherine Ann Sheppard, 6-0, 6-0, plus doubles victories from No. 1 Alex Wilbanks and Vanessa Suarez, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 2 Madison Zerbe and Olivia Hughes, 6-3, 6-0.

Coahulla Creek will play Adairsville at 11 a.m. today in the semifinals, with the third-place match at 1 p.m. and championship at 2:30 p.m.

North Murray’s boys (6-12), the No. 5 seed and a state qualifier a year ago, also had their season come to an end as they lost 4-0 to Adairsville.

• At the Region 7-2A tournament at the Calhoun Tennis Center, Murray County’s second-seeded girls team won twice and are in the region championship at 1:30 p.m. today against No. 1 seed Calhoun.

Murray County won 5-0 against No. 7 seed Dade County to reach the tournament semifinals and clinch a spot in the Class 2A state tournament. The Lady Indians improved to 14-1 with a 4-1 win against third-seeded Pepperell to reach the finals.

In the first win, the Lady Indians got singles wins from No. 1 Greta Lazzarotto, 6-0, 6-0, No. 2 Gabbie Bordelon, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Allison Jones, 6-0, 6-0, plus doubles wins from No. 1 Chloe Brown and Kailey Webb, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 2 Alyssa Jones and Emily Myers, 6-0, 6-1.

Against Pepperell, Murray County got singles wins from Lazzarotto, 6-1, 6-1, Bordelon, 7-5, 6-2, and Jones, 6-1, 6-0, plus a doubles victory from Brown and Webb, 6-1, 6-1.

Murray County’s boys (1-14), the tournament’s No. 8 seed, had their season ended via a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Calhoun.

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