The Unity Christian girls’ tennis team has established itself as one of the most successful teams in the area since 2016 and the Lady Lions are looking to extend that success this week.
No. 1 singles player Dory Williams is in the hunt for her third straight state championship when the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association holds its Division II-A individual state tournament Tuesday at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.
“She’s our MVP,” Unity coach Rocky Calvert said. “She’s tough as nails. She hangs in there against bigger kids and she wears down her opponents. She’s an extremely good tennis player. She's only 5-foot-3 and 95 pounds but she's probably the toughest player in the state.”
The Lady Lions will then try to defend their team state championship Wednesday at the tennis center in the GICAA Division II-A team state tournament.
Since 2016 the Lady Lions have won two state titles, finished as runners-up and won a region championship. Along with Williams’ titles, Unity also has two runner-up finishes in the individual championships.
The Lady Lions finished the regular season with a perfect record with their only loss this year coming against St. Johns Bosco in the finals of the Division II, Region 1 tournament. The Lady Lions defeated St. Johns Bosco two times in the regular season, along with a pair of 4-1 wins against powerhouse King’s Academy out of Woodstock.
“We’re confident, but apprehensive,” Calvert said. “King’s Academy is waiting on us. We beat them twice in team battles, but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what happens at state. I feel like we have a good chance to win a state title again.”
The Lady Lions have also seen success against local schools, winning each matchup over the past two seasons. They defeated Pepperell, Model and Trion this season in 5-0 shutouts, and Rome High 4-1.
Along with Williams at No. 1 singles, the team also features Mackey Williams at No. 2 singles and Renee Lataif at No. 3 singles.
Tori Calvert and Mary Jack Williams, who went undefeated in the regular season and took second at regionals, are at No. 1 doubles, and Rebecca Ackerman and Madelyn Taylor are at No. 2 doubles.