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State tennis tourney under way for area teams
by Greg Oshust
April 23, 2013 02:53 PM | 2721 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Lovett’s Grey Poplin hits a shot during a semifinal match with Wesleyan in the Region 6AA tournament at Westminster last Tuesday.
Staff / Nathan Self
Lovett’s Grey Poplin hits a shot during a semifinal match with Wesleyan in the Region 6AA tournament at Westminster last Tuesday.
A number of local tennis teams are all set to continue their post-season runs as the state tournament gets under way this week.

North Atlanta, Westminster, Lovett, Pace, Holy Innocents’ and Weber will be sending both their boys’ and girls’ teams to state, while Galloway is represented by its girls’ squad.

In Class AAAAA, North Atlanta comes in as a top seed from its region in both the boys’ and girls’ tournament after sweeping the team titles at the 6AAAAA competition at the DeKalb Tennis Center in Decatur last Monday.

Both teams played their first-round AAAAA matches Tuesday at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, with the boys playing Kell and the girls taking on Pope. Both opponents are the fourth seeds from 7AAAAA. Results were not available at press time.

The North Atlanta boys defeated Dunwoody 3-2 in the 6AAAAA finals to clinch its first state tournament berth in the program’s history.

“After the results from the Region 6AAAAA tournament, the North Atlanta tennis team is going to the state playoffs with a solid focus to succeed,” boys’ coach Jorge Perez-Cisneros said. “North Atlanta High has continued to step up and become more competitive in both singles and doubles play. This is the best year North Atlanta High tennis has had in years.”

North Atlanta’s girls earned a return trip to state and a chance to improve on or duplicate its march to the quarterfinals of a year ago after beating Dunwoody 3-0 in the 6AAAAA finals last Monday.

“It’s exhilarating,” girls’ coach Fielding Martin said. “Each tournament is a completely different experience and a potential opportunity to build relationships with teams we have not played before. As a team, we are excited to have the chance to bring the state championship home to North Atlanta.”

In AA, Westminster will be the top seed from its region among both the boys and girls after sweeping the team titles at the 6AA tournament last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the boys’ team hosted Coosa in a first-round AA match, while the girls’ squad played host to Pepperell. Both opponents are the fourth seeds from 7AA. Results were not available at press time.

The Westminster boys entered the state tournament seeking its fourth consecutive AA title and 13th state crown in 14 years after beating Wesleyan 3-0 in the 6AA finals.

“Our region’s pretty tough — there’s a lot of good teams in our region,” boys’ coach Wade Boggs said. “We’re beginning to play our best tennis, but we have to take it one match at a time.”

Westminster had the exact same result in the 6AA girls’ tournament, beating Wesleyan 3-0 in the championship match.

The Wildcats are looking to break through with a state title after finishing runner-up to Blessed Trinity in AA the last two years.

“It will be very competitive,” girls’ coach Scoot Dimon said. “There are four really strong teams in Region 6AA and there are several other strong girls’ teams across the state, both in North and South Georgia. We got to the AA championship match last year and we hope to do it again.”

Joining Westminster in both the AA boys and girls’ tournaments is Lovett, which finished third in both events.

Both of Lovett’s squads, which each defeated Greater Atlanta Christian 3-1 in their third-place matches last Wednesday, went on the road to play Armuchee in their first-round matches Monday. Results were not available at press time.

Both the Pace boys’ and girls’ teams enter Class A private school tournament play in strong shape after each won their respective Area 3A tournament titles at Blackburn Tennis Center in Dunwoody last Wednesday.

The Knights defeated Eagle’s Landing Christian 3-0 in the boys’ championship match and Paideia 3-1 in the girls’ finals.

“The girls played awesome in the area tournament, definitely their best tennis of the season,” Pace girls’ coach Sara Eden said. “Of course, the timing is good. I try to take it one match at a time. I feel confident that if we keep playing like we played [at the 3A tournament], we’ll be in good shape.”

The Pace boys’ and girls’ will host the No. 4 teams from 1A.

The Galloway girls, who beat Holy Innocents’ in the 3A third-place match, will go on the road to play the No. 1 seed in 2A. Both the Holy Innocents’ boys and girls are the fourth-seeds from 3A and each team is traveling to take on the top-seeds from 1A. The opponents and dates of the first-round matches for the Pace and Holy Innocents’ boys and girls and Galloway girls were not set as of press time as they await the results of the 1A tournament, which concluded Monday.

In GISA, Weber won the girls’ title and was the boys’ runner-up at the 1AAA tournament last Monday. Both teams will move on to the GISA Class AAA tournament in Augusta Monday.

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