CHICKAMAUGA - On any other day, Gordon Lee's Monday performance may have been enough to win.
But on this particular Monday, it simply wasn't good enough.
Fresh off a 300-plus mile trip, visiting Irwin County claimed two wins in doubles and won at No. 3 singles to clinch a spot in the Class A public school state championship match with a 3-2 win over the Lady Trojans.
Gordon Lee ended its historic state tournament run with an 11-7 overall record.
"I thought we were pretty evenly matched," said Gordon Lee head coach David Eason, "but in the end, they were the ones who came out on top,"
The match started under overcast skies and unseasonably cool temperatures, and it was Irwin County who drew first blood. The identical twin team of Jordyn and Jayden Jankiewicz handled Sara Clayton and Tori McElhaney, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 1 doubles, but Gordon Lee would later tie up the match at No. 1 singles as Madison Hilley downed Maddie Carlton, 6-2, 6-2.
The Lady Trojans' No. 2 doubles team of Katherine Chambers and Sara Holcomb had the lead midway through the first set, but Lady Indians' duo of Kalie Youghn and Maggie Martin battled back to win the first set, 6-4, and they picked up a key point after winning the second set, 6-3.
Gordon Lee's No. 2 singles player Katie Barger took the first set from Payton Posey, 6-4, and the No. 3 singles match got underway when rain began to fall. The No. 2 singles match was halted temporarily and switched to a somewhat drier court, and Barger held a 2-1 lead in the second set.
But Barger's match was stopped after Irwin County's Summer Pridgen claimed a 6-0, 6-0 win over Bonnie Hankins in the No. 3 singles match, clinching the win for the Lady Indians.
Irwin County will now face either Telfair County and Baconton Charter in Saturday's state championship match in Clayton County.
The loss also snapped a long winning streak for the Lady Trojans.
"The regular season was kind of a mixed bag because it took us a while to get our doubles' teams figured out," Eason explained. "Once we got that straightened out, around mid-season, we didn't lose (a team match) until today. I don't know if you can call what we did this season 'overachieving', but I was kind of surprised considering we had four new starters, plus Katie went from playing doubles last year to singles this year, and Sara (Clayton) went from singles to doubles. Essentially, we had six of our seven starters in different spots from last year."
While the Lady Trojans will miss the services of Barger and Clayton next season, Eason said having five returning starters would help soften the blow.
"Bringing back your No. 1 (singles player) always helps, so it's good that we'll have Madison back," he added. "The other people just have to keep playing and get better, and then we just have to fill those other two spots. That's one thing I was really proud of this year. We had four spots to fill after losing four good players from last year and we did a pretty good job of filling them. It's just time for the next person to step up and be ready to go again."