Head coach Julius Robberts said earning a spot in the Elite Eight is the payoff for years of work by the Lady Purple Hurricanes (11-3, 6-2 in Region 7-AAA) and shows just far they have come in their sport.
"Just making the state playoffs means you've had a successful season. Making the Elite Eight means you are one of the top teams in Georgia," Robberts said. "To get this far in any sport is a major accomplishment.
"The kids are super excited, and so am I."
With the victory, the Lady Canes now play the winner of the Oconee County vs. St. Pius X match, possibly later this week. The Elite Eight match must be played by Tuesday, May 3.
Oconee (19-2, 15-0) is the No. 1 seed out of Region 8B-AAA while St. Pius (12-4, 4-1) is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAA.
The Lady Canes took some of the drama out of the contest early Monday by coming out of the chute like a bullet, winning all their first-round matches, in singles and doubles matches.
In No. 1 singles play, Maggie Dowling won 6-2, 6-1; Adrienne Green, 6-2, 6-3; and Maddie McGinnis, 6-0, 6-3.
Megan Patton and Logan Bolen, the No. 1 doubles team, took the first match 7-6 then fell 4-6 and 6-10, while the No. 2 doubles team of Sarah Vaughan and Mallory Walker won 6-4 then fell 4-6, 5-10.
Dowling gave Cartersville its match victory, claiming the team's third match of the afternoon.
Robberts said Monday's performance by the Lady Canes was all he could ask of them.
"We practiced about 30 minutes and they got warmed up, got where they moved their feet well," he said. "I think it paid off in that they were ready when the matches started."
He noted both doubles teams opened with wins and were taken into tiebreakers. "They all played phenomenally. They all played within themselves."
Robberts, in his first year of coaching the Cartersville tennis teams, said Monday's success was something he hoped both boys and girls teams would experience this year, and he was glad to share in it.
"This was my goal for both teams, to make the Elite Eight," he said. "Having the girls win it in my first year as a coach is a super special moment for me."
He said he will be contacting his coaching counterpart soon to set up the next round for Cartersville.
The loss dropped LaGrange's record to (17-5, 8-1 in Region 6-AAA).