Tennis: First-round opens with upset
In one of the biggest upsets in the first round of the state tennis tournament, Allatoona, the No. 4 seed from Region 6, knocked off Region 8 champion and previously undefeated Gainesville 3-2.
Allatoona’s Maddie Byrne outlasted Gainesville’s Haley Frankum 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 1 singles to decide the match.
The Buccaneers also got wins from No. 2 singles Kendall Moore and the No. 1 doubles team of Megan McKay and Zuzu Nemeth. Gainesville’s wins came from Alli Waggoner at No. 3 singles and the No. 2 doubles team of Paige Patterson and Grace O’Keefe.
Lassiter beat Wheeler 3-1 in the first round as Noah Holsclaw came back to win at No. 1 singles.
The Tucker boys and girls both improved to 13-2 with a 5-0 wins over Brunswick. For the boys, No. 1 Shawn Lunde, No. 2 Usman Jamal and No. 3 Malik Shakir swept through singles without a loss. For the girls, No. 1 Daelyn Turner, No. 2 Ryan Vaughters and No. 3 Jade Warupa all scored victories.
The Buford boys and girls both posted 3-0 wins over Decatur in the first round. The boys got wins from Dalton Counts and Alex Pruitt, while the girls were led by Bailey McCammon and Kenzie Waltes.
The Chamblee boys overpowered Villa Rica 4-1 to reach the Class AAAAA quarterfinals, where they will meet McIntosh. It is the first time the Bulldogs have won their opening match since 2014. Chamblee’s Sam Lehman lost at No. 1 singles, but No. 2 Chase Starks prevailed and No. 3 Carter Difonzo remained undefeated. The Bulldogs also won their two doubles matches.
The Flowery Branch girls swept Grady 4-0 in the first round. The Falcons (17-3) got wins at No. 1 singles from Annabelle Thomas, No. 2 singles from Olivia Correa, No. 3 singles from Olivia Nance and the No. 2 doubles team of Marissa Barrett and Brenna Martin.
The North Oconee boys blanked Northwest Whitfield 5-0 in the first round. Elijah Bullock, playing No. 1 singles, scored the clinching win. No. 2 John Knight and No. 3 Nick Beck also won at singles.
Arabia Mountain’s girls reached the state for the first time, but lost to Cass 5-0 in the opening round.
The Druid Hills girls defeated Spalding in the first round. No. 2 Ayala Anderson, No. 3 Kate Beckwitch and the No. 2 doubles team of Julia Bartlewski and Sammi Gerwitz were victorious.
The Woodward Academy boys and girls won their first-round matches. The girls beat Upson-Lee 3-0 and the boys beat Upson-Lee 5-0 to open the playoffs.
North Hall blanked Stone Mountain 5-0 in the first round. The Pirates were making their first appearance in the state tournament since 1996.
The Pepperell boys defeated Heard County 4-1 in the first round. Donovan Rochester at No. 1, Jordan Purser at No. 2 and Zane Camp at No. 3 all claimed victories.