Heritage girls tennis falls in final

DANIELSVILLE - A pair of local tennis teams came up a little short during the final day of the Region 8-AAAA Tournament. The Heritage girls had their impressive run atop the region come to an end as Flowery Branch won 3-1 in the championship match, while the Rockdale boys also finished as runner-up Friday at Madison County High School.

Heritage, which against the Falcons got just one win, from No. 1 singles player Alix Maloney, had won the last three girl’s league championships.

The Rockdale boys, who earlier in the day knocked off Flowery Branch, 3-1 in the semi finals, fell 3-2 to Madison County in the championship match. The teams split the first four matches-Rockdale got wins from Patrick Sanders, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, and at No. 1 doubles where Jason Lauritsen and Trey Hull won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4-and the title came down to the match at No. 2 doubles. In thrilling fashion, Anthony Adams and Abenet Addisu lost the first set tie breaker, 7-6, then won the second set tie breaker, 7-6, before losing 6-3 in the deciding third set.

“It was a great match; ridiculously good match,” said Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing.

The Rockdale girls bounced back from a 3-1 loss to eventual champion Flowery Branch in the semi finals by handling Madison County, 3-2 in the third-place match. No. 1 singles Summer Walker (6-0, 6-0), No. 3 Ciara Chesser (6-3, 6-0) the No. 2 doubles team of Abby and Libby Bradford (6-1, 6-3) all picked up wins against Madison, which helped Rockdale win its 14th match of the season, a program record.

“We definitely went down fighting, won some good close matches and they…definitely fought hard today,” Sansing said. “We’re proud of them, hopefully this will carry over to the state playoffs.”

The Class AAAA state playoffs begin this week. Both the Rockdale boys and Heritage girls are No. 2 seeds and will host the No. 3 seed from Region 7-AAAA, while the No. 3 seed Rockdale girls will travel to Region 7-AAAA No. 2 for the first round.