According to Excel head coach Mark Hibbard, his teams played the wind well and both teams were able to defeat Rockmart by scores of 4-1.
Miriam Hibbard won on the girls No. 1 singles line, 6-1, 6-2; Callaway Ford won on the No. 2 line, 6-1, 6-1; and Tessa Thornborough won on the No. 3 line, 6-0, 6-0.
“My singles girls all played very strong,” Hibbard said. “With the wind, they hit through the ball when they were against the wind and hit with more topspin on the ball when they were with the wind.”
Usually playing No. 2 doubles, Sarah Bradley and Dianna Davidson won at the No. 1 doubles line, 6-1, 6-0, filling in for Caroline Moore and Taylor Vaughn. The No. 2 line was forfeited, providing Rockmart with its only win on the girls side.
In boys play, Cade Archer fell 1-6, 3-6 at the No. 1 singles line; Sam Kirkland won at the No. 2 line, 6-3, 6-0; and Simon Morris won at the No. 3 line 6-0, 6-1.
At the doubles No. 1 line, Vince DaCamara and Michael Ferris won 6-2, 6-3, while at the No. 2 doubles line, Tyler Demers and John Berry won 6-0, 6-1.
“Today was our first win for the boys in our doubles. They played very well,” Hibbard said. “They had strong return play. That was probably the deciding factor.”
The Excel girls team now moves to 5-2 and the boys improve to 2-4 on the season.
Cass tops Pickens
Cass swept Pickens in girls and boys high school tennis matches Thursday, 5-0 and 4-1 respectively.
In girls singles play, Ryleigh Lanham won at the No. 1 line, 6-2, 7-5; Aleigh Beard at No. 2, 6-0, 6-0; and Jessica Frank at No. 3, 6-1, 7-5.
Morgan Mayton and Flower Nation earned the victory at doubles No. 1, 6-3, 6-0; and Callie Dodd and Hannah Howard at doubles No. 2, 6-4, 6-1.
In boys singles play, Avery Cornett won at the No. 1 line, 6-2, 6-4; Eric Dunlap at No. 2, 7-5, 6-2; and Jacob McBrayer at No. 3, 7-6, 6-3.
Cass’s Fischer Wood and Caleb Reeves took the victory at the doubles No. 2 line while Josh Misilli and Logan Barrere were defeated, 3-6, 0-6, at the doubles No. 1 line.
Cass next plays Tuesday against Cedartown at Hamilton Crossing. Matches start at 4:30 p.m.
Lady Canes win
The Cartersville girls got an early sampling of some playoff tennis and earned a 5-0 sweep at the net against Dalton.
But the Thursday victories were not all easy for two singles players and the No. 2 doubles team.
“We always enjoy playing Dalton. David Hilley is their coach and he has done such an awesome job,” Cartersville head coach Melissa Moore said. “This level of competition is great preparation for the region tournament that is coming up.”
In singles play at the No. 1 line, Mallory Walker won 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 while at the No. 2 line Kenly King earned her victories 6-1, 6-0. At the singles No. 3 line, Taylor Riddle won 6-7, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2 in tiebreaker).
At the doubles No. 1 line, Annabeth and Charleston Fox overpowered their opponents 6-1, 6-0 while at doubles No. 2, Haley Landrum and Kendyl Westmoreland won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
(13-11 in tiebreaker).
“Haley and Kendyl played in our best match of the night,” Moore said. “It was two-and-a-half-hours long and it was a nailbiter.
“This was probably their best match to date. They had to dig down, they really had to fight.”
Moore said the competition was stiff at the No. 1 singles line, too.
“Mallory had to come from behind,” she said. “After she lost her first set, I heard her say ‘I am winning’ and then she came back. She is one tenacious player.”
Moore said the challenge should benefit her girls. “I think what they did today will carry over into our region tournament play.”
The Lady Purple Hurricanes improved to 16-0 with the victory and are 14-0 in their region.
They next play against Calhoun in another non-region matchup.