Court of shutouts
Salem girls, Rockdale boys victorious 5-0

Rockdale and Salem shared the bragging rights in a clash of county rivals Thursday on the tennis court.

The Rockdale boys (3-0 overall) improved to 3-0 in Region 8-AAAA South with a 5-0 victory, while the Salem girls (3-1-1 overall) improved to 2-1 in 8-AAAA South with a 5-0 decision.

In the boys match, Rockdale's Sam Brotherton and Salem's Robby Williams locked up in the tightest match of the day. Brotherton won the first set 6-4 before Williams battled back to win the second set 6-2. In the third set, Brotherton outlasted Williams 10-8 to claim the match.

At No. 2 singles, Rockdale's David McCalley collected a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Salem's Logan Gunzenhauser. Rockdale's Pathy Kuntha completed the singles sweep with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Salem's Tommy Zarna.

In doubles play, Rockdale's Steven Rouk and Andrew Stover prevailed 6-4, 6-1 over Salem's Blake Hullett and Bo Bateman at No. 1, while Rockdale's Mitch Granade and Jordan Jackson scored a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Salem's Justin Chapman and Sam Middleton at No. 2.

"I feel good about our start," Rockdale boys coach Dearl Stephens said. "It's good to be 3-0 in the subregion. I'm not sure what Heritage's record is right now, so we're either No. 1 or No. 2 in the subregion."

The Bulldogs trail the 4-0 Patriots by a half game in the standings, and the two squads square off Tuesday at Heritage.

In the girls match, Salem's Jessica Dias beat Rockdale's MeQuilla Franklin 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, Salem's Chelsea Reagan defeated Rockdale's Rachael Ceciliani 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 and Salem's Payton Teague finished off the sweep with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Sammy Girardot.

In the doubles matches, Salem's Chelsie Slifko and Cecily Wilson chalked up a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Rockdale's Laura McCart and Mei Lin at No. 1. Salem's Kerrie Grunnet and Randi Estes didn't lose a single game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Rockdale's Lauren Stewart and Gabby Burch at No. 2.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.