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North Hall boys fall in tennis semifinals 4-0 against Marist
North Hall's Dalton Patterson returns a shot against Marist at the No. 2 singles Monday afternoon in the Class AAAA tennis state tournament in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — After experiencing a 4-0 loss in the state semifinals Monday, North Hall boys tennis coach Bob Woodworth was at the fence greeting his remaining players as they exited the court for a hard-fought effort.

He also congratulated those from Marist who were coming off the court after a resounding victory on the War Eagles’ home court in Atlanta.

The Trojans (20-4) have every reason to be happy, despite the sting of falling against Marist, which will play Carrollton for its third consecutive state championship Saturday in Jonesboro. In 2016, North Hall made its deepest playoff run in school history.

North Hall’s 14th-year coach said matches against talent, such as Marist, will only fuel its fire to be even better in years to come.

“I’m pretty psyched about the season we’ve had,” said Woodworth. “Coming down here and playing a team as strong as Marist, which will probably win the state title, shows us where we want to be as a team in the future.”

North Hall’s current team was senior-laden with five seniors who accounted for a pair of region titles, its first state semifinal berth and 65 wins over four years.

“I’m extremely proud of this team, so happy for everything they’ve accomplished,” said Woodworth.

The Trojans started the match with extended points against a group of War Eagles with back-to-back titles to their names.

However, a steady progression of North Hall errors started to give Marist all the cushion it needed to lock up its ninth trip to the state championship match since 2001.

Marist won the match with impressive 6-0, 6-0 wins at No. 1 singles by University of Virginia commit Jefferson Dockter, Grant Kelly at No. 2 singles, and Kyle Ferrer and Chase Krouskos 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles. North Hall’s No. 2 doubles pair of Matthew Chewning and Masa Kobayashi battled hard, before falling 7-5, 6-0.

Reid Lattanzi started his match at No. 3 singles, but had to stop early with the Marist girls ready to warm up for its semifinal match against Buford.

Playing his final match at No. 1 singles, Jackson Davis said his team formed an incredible bond over the years together, starting with the implementation of the North Hall Junior Trojans program when he was in middle school.

“I’m extremely proud of this team,” said Davis. “We’re all so close.”

And the future of the Trojans’ program looks bright, even though this senior has played his final match.

“I think we were able to set an example for the younger kids in middle school and even the elementary schools,” said Davis.

Dockter took control in the first set with a great change of speed on ground serves and good touch on returns. Marist’s junior leader said having the same lineup for three years has given it a special bond.

“We’re really lucky, as a team, to be in the situation we’re in,” said Dockter. “We have a very special bond.”