Woodland fights for region lead
by Staff Report
Mar 21, 2013 | 886 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Woodland boys tennis team will be playing for the region lead today and the girls team just wants a shot at returning to the state playoffs when Allatoona comes calling at 4:30 p.m.

The boys defeated East Paulding 4-1 and the girls decisioned them 3-2, winning in doubles play.

Wildcats 4, East Paulding 1

Kevin Tant, Wildcat coach, said his team has stayed focused all season and tried to steadily improve its play and now is reaping the benefits through its 6-0 region record.

“We have never been in the hunt for a region championship this late in the season,” Tant said. “We’re pushing hard to win the region, and we’ve been working hard.”

The coach said the Wildcats are hoping local fans can attend the match with Allatoona today, which is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start. “We could use some hometown support.”

Tant’s Wildcats defeated East Paulding, 4-1, on Wednesday to set up the head-to-head for the region lead.

Woodland swept East Paulding on the singles line with Dustin Dodson defeating Brett Benson, 6-0, 6-0; Brandon Rutledge outscoring Hunter Maddox, 6-2, 6-2; and Bryce Webb overpowering Don Harding, 6-1, 6-1.

Tant said Webb’s victory was especially sweet since he hasn’t gotten a lot of matches in this season. “I was especially impressed with his play.”

He said Webb has been an alternate at line three but spring rains have curtailed his court appearances.

He said Webb got the call when Griffin Hall moved from No. 3 singles to No. 2 doubles, pairing up with Grayson Roberts. The two defeated Grant Long and Herron Robinson 6-3, 7-6 and 7-5 in the tiebreaker.

Tant said the No. 2 doubles victory was the “sweetest surprise of the night. They had never played a true match together, but tonight, they played like they had been playing the whole season together.”

The Wildcats’ only loss came at the No. 1 doubles line where James Lester and Dominick Kim lost 1-6, 0-6 to Aaron Black and Billy Anshuzzi.

“I was surprised by the overwhelming strength at line 1 doubles,” he added.

Tant said the Wildcats are trying to take their success this year in stride.

“We’ve taken care of business to this point, and I’m hoping we can raise our game beyond where it’s been all season against Allatoona.”

Woodland 3, East Paulding 2

The Lady Wildcats earned their victory through their doubles play, a somewhat rare occurrence.

“Finally we are looking like a doubles team,” Beth Heath, Lady Wildcats coach, said.

Heath said her doubles players have been breaking down their game this week to get a better grasp of how to pick up an advantage on the court.

“We’ve been having girls keeps stats behind them to see what they were doing wrong,” Heath said. “They kept track of how many double faults we had, how many unforced errors and how many times the ball was hit straight to an opponent at the net. Once they saw that on paper, it made all the difference.”

In singles play, Erin Marratta lost to Monica Beharle, 6-2, 6-1; and Somalia Lewis fell to Pamela Garcia, 6-3, 6-2. Katie Abernathy defeated Courtney Gibson, 6-3, 6-2.

In doubles play, LeArian Turner and Suzy Beltran defeated Erin Holtzclan and Christie Eads, 6-1, 6-2

Karlie Abernathy and Alaina Ellis defeated Christian Sharp and Andrea Billena, 6-3, 6-2.

Heath said her team wants to finish as one of the top four region teams.