The Rome Tennis Center at Berry College was alive with activity Thursday with boys’ and girls’ tennis teams from the four Floyd County schools taking to the courts for some Region 7-AA competition.
The Model boys and girls both came away with a 4-1 win over Coosa, while the Armuchee boys and girls swept Pepperell 5-0 in both matches.
The afternoon was key for all teams as the Region 7-AA tournament is set to take place at the facility on April 8 and 9, with the GHSA state tennis playoffs starting the following week.
The postseason will continue through May 4, when the GHSA State Tennis Championships are scheduled to be held at the Rome Tennis Center.
“We’ve played well when we've needed to,” Armuchee girls’ coach Mary Stuart Ratledge said. “I’m thankful for my girls. They’ve come through when I've needed them to. We’ve got to finish strong. We can’t give up now. ... If we finish like we’re capable of playing, I think we’ll be in a good position for our region tournament.”
The Blue Devils got good showings from several players, including Parker Stone, who maintained his perfect high school record by blazing through his No. 1 singles match against Coosa’s Zac Mitchell, 6-0, 6-0.
“He’s a really good player, and it’s not surprising that he’s the kid who spends the most time on the court,” Model boys’ tennis coach Josh Goss said. “He plays all the time. He’s very passionate about it, and he’s successful because of that.”
Model's Teller Abdou topped Jason Broom 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, and Eli Abdou won at No. 3 singles — 6-0, 6-1 — against Coosa's Hunter Dodd.
The Blue Devils and Eagles split the doubles matches with Model’s Micah Veillon and Braxton Sims hanging on against Brady Jacobs and Bradley Johnson, 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 1 spot. Coosa’s Keith Gunnells and Malachi Wilkens eked out a 6-4, 7-6 win against Griffin Burgess and Barton Sopata in the No. 2 line.
The Blue Devils have a near-perfect overall record with only two losses on the season, both of which have come against region foe Rockmart.
“We’ve gotten better,” Goss said. “For us to be successful in the region tournament we’ve got a lot to work on. We’ve got to clean up some parts of our game.”
Coosa boys’ coach Granger Surrett said his three seniors have helped his team reach what he says will likely be the No. 5 seed in the region tournament.
“Brady and Bradley have had a great year,” Surrett said. “Both of them are playing really well. Jordan at No. 2 has been really solid. Those are our really experienced guys who are seniors and I was looking for to be leaders, and they’ve turned into that.”
For Model’s girls, Tatum Abdou and Evalyn Edwards defeated Tori Thomaston and Neema Patel at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Abdou won 6-2, 6-0, and Edwards won 6-0, 6-1.
Coosa’s Gracie Shumate got the lone victory for the Lady Eagles, winning 6-7, 6-1, 7-6 at No. 3 singles against Ambria Ludwig following a grueling match that lasted over two hours.
At No. 1 doubles, Ella Burgess and Emily Hicks survived against Brinley Smith and Katrice Ferrell 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. At No. 2 doubles Brooke Roberts and Miya Blanton came out strong against Josi Blackburn and Emily Guy, 6-1, 6-1.
Armuchee’s Brooke Dellis, Hannah Dellis and Chole Purdy each earned 6-0, 6-0 shutouts at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles against Carrington Nails, Haley Thomas and Heidi Thomas, respectively.
At No. 1 doubles, Taylor Harris and Blaine Fox gave Armuchee the win over Pepperell's Erica Fox and Jayden Brumbelow, 6-4, 6-4, while Madysen Hurley and Ansley Reece won 6-3, 6-3 against Hannah Nash and Ashley Cordle at No. 2 doubles.
For the boys, Armuchee’s Darby Hopper won at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-0, against Ben Whelchel, Ethan McGhee defeated Koby Legg 6-2, 7-5 at No. 2 singles, and Eli Brock topped Wheeler Mathis 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
At No. 1 doubles, Indians Jackson House and Baron St. Clair defeated Kody Bullock and Brian Wiggins 6-4, 6-2, and Ethan Hoover and David Lovett won 6-0, 6-2 against Connor Arrington and Lewis Shell.
Armuchee will have a quick turnaround to travel to Rockmart today and take on the region-leading Jackets and Lady Jackets. Model will then face Armuchee at the Rome Tennis Center on Tuesday to close out the regular season.