CONYERS - Heritage's tennis teams broke out their brooms Thursday, collecting a sweep of crosstown rival and 8-AAAA South foe Salem.
With the sweep, both the Heritage boys and girls moved to 3-0 in 8-AAAA South play.
The Heritage boys rolled to a 5-0 win with Jonathan Stone topping Robby Williams 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Blake Craft followed suite with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Salem's Justin Chapman at No. 2 singles, and Heritage's Brad Hardin gained a 6-0, 6-0 win over Tommy Zarna at No. 3.
In doubles action, the tandem of J.J. Ramsey and Jacob Zirbel cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Salem's Chris McAdams and Bo Bateman at No. 1. Zach Landy and Cody Provence teamed up at No. 2 and topped Salem's Blake Hullett and Logan Gunzenhauser 6-1, 6-1.
Heritage boys coach Chuck Landy said he was pleased with the outcome.
"We looked decent today," he said. "We wanted to come out and be competitive. There are always things that we can work on to get better, but overall I was pleased with the effort."
Salem boys coach Kevin Crabb was also pleased with his team's effort, but he understands the team is still going through a growing process.
"They're still learning and developing as tennis players," he said. "Right now, we're working on becoming more consistent."
On the girls side, the Heritage girls built a 4-0 lead over a slightly depleted Lady Seminoles' squad before having to shorten the match due to darkness.
Playing without its No. 1 and No. 3 singles players, Salem forfeited its match at No. 1 singles. Salem opted for an exhibition match at No. 1 and Heritage's Taylor Maloney won 6-0, 6-0 over Ashley Bailey.
Heritage's Stephanie Humphries defeated Chelsea Reagan 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 singles and Callie Alford topped Salem's Jonae Perrin 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3.
The girls doubles matches were much more competitive.
Heritage's Keeli Smith and Christine Harper split with Chelsie Slifko and Cecily Wilson 6-2, 6-7 (4-7) in the first two matches, before winning 10-4 in the super tie breaker.
No. 2 doubles was shortened due to darkness. The Heritage team of Amanda Voyles and Liz Forrester won the first set 6-4 over Salem's Kerrie Grunnet and Randi Estes. The two teams battled to a 3-3 tie in the second set before darkness crept in and they went to 10-point tiebreaker. Heritage won the tie breaker 10-6.
Heritage girls coach Brian Smith said the team showed it can overcome adversity as it had to rally to win some of its matches.
"Today, we came out and had to battle through some inconsistent play, but we battled through it," he said. "I think that shows the kind of character we have on this team. Now, we just need to build off the momentum and continue working hard."
Salem girls coach Arthur Hawkins said he wasn't too disappointed in the result, especially considering his team was playing short-handed.
"We were without our No. 1 singles player Jessica Dias and our No. 3 Peyton Teague," he said. "I'm not taking anything away from Heritage. They're a great team. I just wish we were able to be a little more competitive out there today."
The Salem girls also had too shorten their match with Union Grove on Wednesday. The Salem girls were tied 2-2 before having to call the would-be decisive final match. The Salem boys were defeated 4-1 by the Wolverines.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.