The Lady Wildcats won their points at the singles line, as they defeated South Paulding, 3-0. Once they won their third point, all other matches were halted.
“It’s a great win for us,” head coach Beth Heath said. “It qualified us for state, and now we see which seeding we will get.”
The Lady Cats had defeated South Paulding 3-2 during the regular season.
Woodland returns to the courts today at 11 a.m. to battle North Paulding. A victory would qualify it to play at 3 p.m., likely against Allatoona.
Heath said she is proud of her singles players for stepping up their games against South Paulding.
“Winning at singles was a great feeling for all of us,” she said. “We didn’t win all our singles matches in a game many times during the regular season.”
At the singles No. 1 line, Erin Marratta won 6-2, 6-1; at the singles No. 2 line, Katie Abernathy won 6-1 and 7-6 in a tiebreaker. At the singles No. 3 line, Somalia Lewis won 6-2, 6-2.
Woodland 3, Rome 0
The Woodland boys tennis team also qualified for the state playoffs at the singles lines.
Head coach Kevin Tant said both the boys and girls tennis teams qualified for state a second year in a row.
“I’m very pleased with the boys’ performance,” he said. “We came into this year with a lot of question marks. We were 9-1 last year but we lost some players to graduation and we had a different set of guys. A lot of our players had to step up for us to win again.”
The Wildcats, who were 7-3 in region play this year, defeated Rome, 3-0, with their points coming at the singles lines.
Woodland was primed for a victory at the doubles lines but the singles matches ended first and play was stopped once any team earned its third point.
Woodland, which was seeded No. 4, earned its second victory of the year over Rome, having defeated the No. 5-seeded Wolves, 3-2, during the regular season.
At the singles No. 1 line, Brandon Rutledge won 6-0, 6-0; while at the singles No. 2 line, Griffin Hale grabbed his victories, 6-1, 6-0.
At the singles No. 3 line Grayson Roberts won 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Tant said Roberts was challenged at the No. 3 line.
“It took a while for Grayson to figure out the game of his opponent. He had to totally change his game plan to win, but luckily he was able to do that.”
Tant said his team turned in a good year.
“We had a lot of changes to the lineup, and we still made it happen so I’m very pleased,” Tant said.
He said Hale was a strong contributor to Woodland’s success.
“At singles line 2, Hale has lost two matches the entire season. He did it at a new line, too. He went from playing line 3 last year to playing line 2 this year.”
He said Rutledge was another big reason for Woodland’s success.
“Brandon at line 1 has held his own against some big hitters this year,” he added.
Tant said at the doubles No. 1 line Tuesday, Skylar Henderson and Tanner Self won their first set 6-4 and had started their second set when Woodland collected its third point at the singles line and action stopped.
“I was very impressed with the doubles team’s play,” he said. “The last time Rome destroyed them but this time I think we would have won if we had been able to finish. I was very pleased with today’s performance.”
The Wildcats return to the court at 9:30 a.m. today. They play Allatoona.
The tournament is being played at Lost Mountain Tennis Center in Powder Springs.
Excel boys and girls fall
It was a windy day Tuesday and Excel’s first match following spring break.
As a result, the Eagles were not at their best and lost in both the boys and girls matches by scores of 1-4 and 2-3, respectively.
“I felt like the boys doubles teams are starting to show us some of the potential they have. I’m seeing them going to the net more instead of sitting on the baseline, because if you sit on the baseline, you have to have great passing shots in order to win,” Excel tennis coach Mark Hibbard said. “As a group, I thought the girls played fairly solid. They just struggled in the wind, but I’m thinking, even with this loss, it’s still going to leave them in a good position to be able to qualify for the region tournament.”
For the girls at the singles No. 1 line, Miriam Hibbard won 6-0, 6-3; at the singles No. 2 line, Callaway Ford lost 4-6, 1-6; and at the singles No. 3 position, Tessa Thornborough won 6-0, 6-3.
“Miriam and Tessa both played smart in the wind,” Hibbard said. “They paid attention to the wind. When the wind is against you, you have to hit through the ball. When it is behind you, you use more topspin. Tessa has good backspin. All you need is very good wind and it makes it even tougher. I saw that in her and it was very smart that she did that.”
At the doubles No. 1 line, Caroline Moore and Taylor Vaughn lost 4-6, 4-6, while at doubles No. 2, Sarah Bradley and Dianna Davison lost 2-6, 1-6.
In boys play, Cade Archer lost at the singles No. 1 slot, 1-6, 1-6; Sam Kirkland lost at the singles No. 2 position, 1-6, 2-6; and Simon Morris won at the singles No. 3 position, 6-4, 6-2.
Michael Serris and Vince DaCamara lost in doubles No. 1 play, 2-6, 1-6, while John Berry and Tyler Demmers fell, 3-6, 0-6, at the doubles No. 2 line.
The boys will play Walker Thursday. The Eagles need the win in order to qualify for the region tournament.