The girls' and boys' tennis teams kept their seasons alive Wednesday, each posting solid wins at home on the OCHS courts, in the first round of the Georgia High School Tennis AAA State Tournament.
The young Lady Warriors' team continued to thrive with dominant play at all singles spots and another strong showing at number two doubles to turn back the visiting Lafayette Ramblers 4-1.
Katy Kane and Caroline McElhannon, the Lady Warriors' super sophomore singles pair, had little trouble chalking up wins, and giving the Lady Warriors their first two points, as they simultaneously shut down their Cartersville opponents. Kane defeated L.B. Pettigrew 6-0, 6-0, while McElhannon mirrored that score with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of her own over Jessica McDaniels. At number one singles, freshman Jordan England was tested early, but hung tough to defeat a feisty Madeline Ensley in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4. The number two doubles combo of Ivy Do and Megan Morris, both only freshmen, breezed past Abbey Hannah and Tori Hunter 6-2, 6-3. The win over Lafayette moved the Lady Warriors team to 19-3 on the season.
The Warrior boys, redeemed last year's first round state playoff loss, giving up only two games at the two and three singles spots and one doubles spot, to defeat Cartersville's Purple Hurricane netters 3-1. Number three man Conner Smith got the Warriors on the board early with a 6-1, 6-0 trouncing of Tyler Hill. Oconee's number one doubles pair, Drew Horsley and Zach Miner, then got the Warriors within a point by dismissing Will Garner and Jordan Ekert 6-1,6-0. Moments later Slammin' Sammy Ondo sent sent the Canes packing and back to the bus with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Tyler Hill.
Wednesday's win meant the boys have now reached a milestone 20 wins for the season, with only two losses. The 20 wins makes the 2012 team the winningest OCHS tennis team since at least 2005. Records were not available for years prior to that year.
After the two first round wins, Coach Dan Gruetter commented, "You work all year to get here and you hope that you're as good as you think you are. This is the first step out of five. It takes five to win the whole thing, so it's a step. We've been this far before. We're really proud of our kids and it's been a long, tough season and it gets tougher from here on out. We play North Springs for the boys, who's a three seed and we play Woodward Academy for the girls who's also a three seed, next week here and that will be a big step up from what we did today. We'll see how our kids respond. We expect them to respond well and play hard, and we expect them to come out victorious."
The Lady Warriors host Woodward Academy in the second round, while the Warrior men host North Springs, also in the second round. Both matches will be played early next week at a time and date to be determined.
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