Pats pull off tennis 3-peat
Heritage boys cruise into Elite 8

CONYERS - The Heritage boys tennis team pulled off a three-peat Wednesday.

The Patriots breezed to a 3-0 victory over Lakeside-DeKalb in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs, advancing to the quarterfinals for the third straight season.

"We're proud of it (three straight Elite Eights). These guys have worked extremely hard," Heritage boys coach Chuck Landy said. "It's not about what we've done since January. They've played together on ALTA teams, they've played together in a USTA league. We've put a lot of time and effort into it. When we come out, we expect to play well and expect to compete."

The Patriots met, and possibly exceeded, their expectations against the Vikings.

Zach Landy reeled off a quick 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 2 singles to give Heritage the early edge.

The No. 1 doubles team of Frankie Merkel and Erik Lauritsen made it 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 decision.

Moments later, Jonathan Stone closed out the victory with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph at No. 1 singles.

In fact, Heritage also won the other two matches. Cody Provence and Trey Calcinore prevailed 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles, while Joey Roppo rallied for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles.

"Lakeside was a solid team today, but we were sharp," Landy said. "In the region finals, we looked good on every court and today we came out and looked sharp from the start on every court. Their No. 1 and No. 2 singles players were solid, but Jonathan and Zachary played extremely well today.

"Frankie and Erik got off to a good start in their match. Cody and Trey get better every time they play together. Overall, we were just sharp."

The Patriots will host the Starr's Mill-Hillgrove winner in the quarterfinals.

"We know whoever we play next, whether it's Starr's Mill or Hillgrove, is going to be tough," Landy said. "The good thing is it's here, but the best thing is we're still playing. We've got an opportunity. We'll have to play extremely well, against either team. It's going to be fun, we're looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, the Heritage girls will try to lock up a trip to the Final Four at 4 p.m. today at home against McIntosh in the Class AAAA quarterfinals.

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