The Model boys’ tennis team is marching on in the Class AA state playoffs following a business-like approach to defeating Berrien on Thursday in the Sweet 16.
After getting over some early jitters, the Blue Devils took a 4-1 mark against the visiting Rebels at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.
The victory puts Model in the Elite Eight for the first time in at least a decade.
John Weaver and Stephen Boylan got the first win for Model in No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-0. No. 1 singles player Kyle Hale followed close behind by capping off a 6-3, 6-1 win over Joseph Jordan.
The match that put the Blue Devils over the best-of-five limit came at No. 2 doubles as Sam Bryant and David Mountain kept calm and won 6-3, 6-2.
Model coach Josh Goss said his doubles teams played the best he had seen all season, and the overall win gave him a good feeling going forward.
“We were really nervous to start and had a lot of unforced errors,” Goss said. “Once the kids got into a rhythm they hit the ball well.”
Parker Stone battled hard at No. 2 singles to pull out a 7-5, 6-0 win against Isaac Lanier to give the Blue Devils four of the five matches.
The last match on the court was No. 3 singles, where Model’s Chase Geier played Wyatt Brady to a third set. Down 4-1, Geier won back-to-back games to make it 4-3 before Brady took the next two to win.
Model will have to wait on other matches to be completed before finding out who their Elite Eight opponent will be.
In other state tennis action:
Class 5A state playoffs
Rome girls 3, Arabia Mountain 2
Laura McCurry and Elizabeth Eberhart completed a 6-2, 6-2 win over their doubles opponents Thursday to give the Rome High girls’ tennis team the win in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Playing Arabia Mountain on the road, the Lady Wolves got wins from Nigara Nizamidin at No. 3 singles (6-1, 6-2), and Ripley Bennett and Mary Jo McCormick at No. 1 doubles (6-2, 6-2) to start. Rome won the match 3-2.
The Lady Wolves will have a quick turnaround and play Starr’s Mill in the second round today in Peachtree City.