While Wednesday’s match signaled the end of the 2021 season for Calhoun and there was certainly heartache and sadness, there were also feelings of appreciation and excitement for the great season it was for the Lady Jackets.
Calhoun battled against a tough Northview team in the second round of the Class AAAAA State Tournament but suffered a season-ending 4-0 defeat.
“It was definitely not what we wanted today, but if you told us before the season that we were going to be region champs and go to the second round of the playoffs, I’m not sure we would’ve thought we were going to be able to do that going up to Class AAAAA and having such a tough schedule,” said Calhoun head coach Lynn Davis. “But these girls really committed to working and getting better. They did whatever they needed to do to be able to have success. They really came together as a team, and we saw that as coaches when we went to the LaGrange Tournament earlier this season. We wanted to keep playing deeper into the playoffs, but we’re so proud of what this group accomplished this year.”
Northview came out strong in Wednesday’s second-round match at the Calhoun Tennis Center to grab the momentum, but once Calhoun (16-4) settled in and got rid of some of the nerves, they battled and made it tough on the visiting Lady Titans. Still, Northview was able to earn wins at No. 1 and No. 3 singles from Victoria Guagnelli and Claire Brown, respectively. They earned the other two team points in doubles action as the No. 1 team of Poorii Iyer and Jayne Siebold and the No. 2 team of Swathi Muruganandan and Mana Ueda each won in two hard-fought sets.
Calhoun’s doubles teams of Emma Blackstock and Emma Williams (No. 1) and Ruby Christian and Zoey Talley (No. 2) pushed their opponents to a 7-5 set in their tough losses, and Calhoun’s No. 2 singles player Emma Gallman won her first set 7-5 before the match was pulled in the second set with the team result no longer in doubt.
“We didn’t have a good start today, but I think the girls relaxed a little bit and battled at the end,” said Davis. “(Northview) is a really good team, and I think we dug ourselves just a little bit too big of a hole.”
Northview will now advance to the Class AAAAA quarterfinal round where they will visit Region 1-AAAAA No. 1 seed Coffee.
For the Lady Jackets, Davis said the players moving on to graduation will be tough to replace, but they are excited about the younger players coming back next season.
“Our seniors are all in our starting lineup so they will be missed from that standpoint, but their leadership will be missed more than anything,” said Davis. “They kept the team together this year, and that was good for the younger kids to see. As far as those girls that are coming back, we told them that next season starts tomorrow. It’s up to them to work on whatever they need to in order to improve and play in some competitive tournaments this offseason. They need to do that to get ready for next year if they want to continue having success like we had this season.”
In other recent prep tennis action:
Calhoun boys’ fall to North Springs in first round
The Calhoun Boys’ Tennis Team traveled to North Springs for the first round of the Class AAAAA State Tournament and saw their season come to an end with a tough 4-1 loss.
Calhoun (8-12) got their lone point at No. 1 doubles as the team of Jacob Beamer and Jaxon Prater earned a 6-2, 7-6 win.
North Springs swept the singles play with Alec Rosenberg (No. 1), Connor Plumly (No. 2) and Tyler Currivan (No. 3) earning two-set victories. North Springs’ No. 2 doubles team of Eli Minsk and Ethan Wolfson also earned a win.
“We had a young team this year with no seniors, and they matured a lot over the course of the season,” said Calhoun head coach Lynn Davis. “We are proud of them for earning a playoff berth and look forward to seeing them get better this offseason and coming back with more experience next year.”