Heritage girls roll to Elite 8
Doubles teams lead Lady Patriots to 3-1 win

CONYERS - The Heritage girls tennis team is starting to carve out its own list of impressive postseason accomplishments.

The Lady Patriots (19-3) advanced to the Class AAAA quarterfinals with a 3-1 second-round victory over visiting Douglas County on Tuesday, earning their first trip to the Elite Eight in school history.

"It feels really good to be in the Elite Eight. These girls have worked really hard," Heritage girls coach Brian Smith said. "We started training with the conditioning circuit in December, and they worked extremely hard through that and on into their skill development during the season. We've been around each other a long time, and we just want to keep it going as long as we can."

Once again, the doubles teams were dominant for the Lady Patriots, chalking up a quick 2-0 lead.

Callie Alford and Amanda Voyles breezed to a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 1 doubles and Kaylee Humphries and Keeli Smith posted an easy 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 2 doubles to give Heritage a 2-0 advantage.

Taylor Maloney dropped a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) decision at No. 1 singles, as Douglas County cut the Heritage lead in half.

But Alix Maloney closed out the victory at No. 3 singles for the Lady Patriots with a 6-0, 6-3 win.

At No. 2 singles, Stephanie Humphries was tied at a set piece when the match ended.

"I thought our doubles teams came out and really set the tone for us," Smith said. "They really took a lot of pressure off our team by jumping out early and really dominating their matches. They just played really solid doubles tennis that gave us a great start.

"All the singles matches were really tight battles. When Alix took the court, she seized the opportunity in the first set and that really kept the momentum on our side. We beat a good team. Douglas County was a solid team throughout their lineup."

The Lady Patriots will host the Hillgrove-McIntosh winner in the quarterfinals, possibly as early as Friday.

The Heritage boys will shoot for their third straight trip to the Elite Eight today at home against Lakeside-DeKalb at 4 p.m.

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