The Gainesville girls tennis team made another lasting memory for coach Kellie Smith at the conclusion of Wednesday’s Region 8-AAAAAA tournament final. The Red Elephants only dropped one line against Winder-Barrow to win the region championship by a 3-1 decision at Longwood Park in Gainesville.
“They worked hard all season and their hard work paid off in the end,” said Smith, who to date had led the Red Elephants to five region crowns in her seven years as the head coach.
It was also Haley Frankum’s third region championship in her four-year tennis career.
“I am extremely proud to be part of such a great tennis program and team,” said Frankum, who at No. 1 singles put together a dominant second set against Winder-Barrow’s Kathryn Faulkner to win 6-4, 6-2.
“A third region title in my four years of high school is a great memory to cherish. I love my coach and am so proud to be a Red Elephant.”
The Red Elephants clinched the title by taking the first three lines.
Their final victory came behind a gritty performance from the No. 1 doubles slot while Ali Waggoner at No. 3 singles led 6-0, 4-3 on another court.
Paige Ackerman and Madi Kiser outlasted Winder-Barrow’s Rachel McCain and Lauren McNally in a tightly-contested match that came down to two tiebreaks (7-6, 7-6).
Smith could feel the momentum swaying towards Winder-Barrow, when nerves and frustrations unveiled on the court after her top doubles line watched a 5-2 lead slip in one of the sets.
But Ackerman and Kiser’s solid chemistry came through in both tiebreaks as they took the first 7-5, and won the second 7-4.
“They just had to hunker down and focus. They knew what they needed to do to win the match,” said the seventh-year head coach for Gainesville.
“They have confidence in each other. They work very well as a team and, just the communication between them, they just had to do it.”
Gainesville’s Paige Patterson and Grace O’Keefe at No. 2 doubles cruised in their match to keep the hosts in control with a 6-1, 6-1 win.
NORTH HALL GIRLS 5, JEFFERSON 0: Anna Montgomery won in singles (6-0,6-0). Lauren Davis and Christen Barnes won in singles. Sydney Patterson/Annalise Gregory (6-3, 6-0) and Carsen Baumgardner/Raquel Kallab (6-1, 6-0) won in doubles. North Hall improves to 12-4 and 5-0 in Region 8-AAAA play.
JEFFERSON BOYS 4, NORTH HALL 1: Ethan Surles/Christian Boychuk (6-3, 3-2) won in doubles for North Hall. North Hall falls to 8-8 and 4-1 in Region 8-AAAA play.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY BOYS 7, GEORGE WALTON ACADEMY 2: Andrew Miller Bell had a hat trick and three assist for Lakeview Academy on Tuesday. Bryce Kimball had a hat trick for the Lions (6-5-2, Region 8-A 3-1). Jack Perkins scored a goal for Lakeview Academy.
Mani Reddy and Hayes Kennedy both had an assist for Lakeview Academy. TJ Wolcott record two saves in goal for the Lions.
Lakeview Academy plays Wesleyan at 7 p.m. today in Norcross.
NORTH HALL 11, UNION COUNTY 0: Trojans starting pitcher Reese Olson recorded nine strikeouts on the mound in their second shutout victory this week against the Panthers. Jackson Latty led North Hall (15-4, 8-0 Region 7-AAA) offensively with four RBIs and two hits.
Taber Mongero, Charlie Erickson, and Drew Hubbard had two hits each for the Trojans.
North Hall faces Union County at 5:55 p.m. on Friday at Jody Davis Field.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 8, RIVERSIDE MILITARY 1: Josh Henderson got the complete-game victory for the Lions, allowing just two hits while striking out seven batters.
Bailey Whitlock had a double with two RBIs. Brannon Browner drove in a run and had double for the Lions while teammate Sam Stewart scored twice.
Lakeview Academy plays Mount Vernon at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Atlanta.
GAINESVILLE GIRLS THIRD AT CHATTAHOOCHEE: The Lady Red Elephants shot a team-total 172 to finish behind Lanier (141) and Habersham Central (149) on Wednesday in Gainesville.
Sarah Hsu was the low-medalist with a score of 40 over nine holes for Lanier.
High school scores can be reported by 10:30 each night by calling 770-718-3406 or email email@example.com