The Lady Colonels picked up two points in singles play and two at the doubles line in the first round of the state playoffs, which they hosted.
Brooke McDurmon, head coach of the Lady Colonels, said it was a big win and her girls had prepared hard for the contest.
“The girls were ready,” McDurmon said. “They knew we had a good shot coming in as a No. 1 seed. We felt like we were in it to get past Shaw. So we won it and that’s what we came out to do.”
Cass picked up its winning third point at singles No. 2 line, played by Aleigh Beard, who won 6-4, 7-6 (7-2 in the tiebreaker).
Beard said her opponent came to play. “She really challenged me the whole way and it was a close match,” she said.
Beard credited her own determination with helping her win.
“I just said I’m going to win ... because we’re going to go to the second round of the state,” she said.
Beard, who has represented her school three years in singles play, said the whole team had been pointing at the match.
“This is the best we’ve ever done,” Beard said. “It’s like the greatest thing. We’ve never hosted the state before. This is pretty awesome. I feel like I’m on top of the world.”
Also claiming points were Ryleigh Lanham, who won 6-0, 6-3, at the singles No. line, and Flower Nation and Morgan Mayton, who picked up their point at the doubles No. 1 line, 6-1, 6-0, while at the doubles No. 2 line, Callie Dodd and Hannah Howard won 6-0, 6-0.
Jessica Frank was decisioned at the singles No. 3 line, 2-6, 4-6.
McDurmon said Cass coaches had a simple message when preparing for the Columbus team.
“We just told our players to win one point at a time and play your game,” she said. “We told the girls don’t let Shaw control the points. You play your game and play the match you want and that’s what they did.”
Beard said she and her teammates approached the match determined to earn a victory.
“We were like, we’ll do our best,” she said. “That’s all we can do.”
She said Cass will be facing a familiar foe in Chamblee the next round.
“We’re playing the school we lost to last year, 2-3,” Beard said. “It’ll probably be a really close match.”
Coach McDurmon said she likes the team’s chances against Chamblee, too, in the match that will be played next week, once again at Cass High.
“Our goal is to keep going,” she said. “We really feel like we’ve got a shot at the next round so we’re going to play like we’re going to win it, too. We’re not going to step back.
“We lost to Chamblee 2-3 last year. Our lineup is stronger this year so I feel like we’ll have a better shot going in. We also have home court advantage. We’ll try to take advantage of that and, hopefully, pull it out next week, too.”