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Next stop: Round 2
Heritage tennis squads roll in state tourney openers

CONYERS - The Heritage tennis teams are headed to the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.

The Heritage boys played like playoff veterans, beating Dalton 3-0 in about an hour in the opening match Monday.

In the second match, the Heritage girls needed a little longer to take care of their business. Still, they posted an impressive 3-0 win over Sprayberry.

In the boys match, Jonathan Stone gave Heritage a quick 1-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles.

Frankie Merkel and Erik Lauritsen followed with a 6-2, 6-1 decision at No. 1 doubles, putting the Patriots up 2-0.

Junior Zach Landy closed out the victory for Heritage with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles.

"I thought we played well today, but we know we can play better," Heritage boys coach Chuck Landy said. "Jonathan came out and got us a quick win to get us going. Then we picked up two more quick wins after that.

"You never know what you're getting into in the first round of the state tournament. You hear things, but you don't know much about the team you're facing. Dalton had to be a pretty good team just to make it to state, playing in a 15-team region. But we went out there and did what we needed to do."

The Patriots will host the winner of Lakeside-DeKalb and Whitewater in the second round. That match must be completed by next Wednesday.

In the girls match, Keeli Smith and Kaylee Humphries set the tone at No. 2 doubles for the Lady Patriots, chalking up an easy 6-1, 6-0 victory.

Taylor Maloney secured a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles to give Heritage a 2-0 advantage.

Stephanie Humphries put the match away for the Lady Patriots with a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles.

In the other matches, Alix Maloney cruised to an easy win at No. 3 singles, while Callie Alford and Amanda Voyles rallied to prevail in a tough three-setter at No. 1 doubles.

"I was pleased with how we played today," Heritage girls coach Brian Smith said. "Our No. 2 doubles team, Keeli and Kaylee, set the tone with a quick victory. And then, we battled our way through the other matches.

"I wasn't really worried about our girls feeling any pressure today. Chuck Landy does such a good job of scheduling quality opponents for our teams that we've pretty much seen everything by this point in the season. All we have to do is go out and play."

The Lady Patriots will host the North Springs-Douglas County winner in the second round.

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