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Heritage girls, Rockdale boys fall to Chattahoochee in tennis

Alix Maloney from Heritage HS in Conyers, Ga.

Alix Maloney from Heritage HS in Conyers, Ga.

The tennis teams from Chattahoochee High School came to Conyers as No. 3 seeds, but played more like No. 1 seeds Thursday.

The Cougars, from the tough Region 7-AAAA, had no trouble with No. 2 seeds the Heritage girls (4-0 win) and Rockdale boys (3-0) in Class AAAA first-round state matches at the Rockdale Tennis Center.

The Chattahoochee girls got dominant wins from Kristen Schaaf, who defeated Kaylee Humphries, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Julia Stephen and Hannah Sharpe, who knocked off Kenzie Zirbel and Julie Roseberry, 6-2, 6-0.

"Knowing that (Chattahoochee) battled out with (Region 7-AAAA runner-up) Lambert, we knew that they weren't your typical three-seed," Patriots coach Brian Smith said.

The visitors wrapped up the first round victory with straight set wins at No. 2 doubles (Megan Szumowski and Grace Gardne) and at No. 3 singles (Frankie Sharpe). Alix Maloney of Heritage and Chattahoochee's Lauren Mueller didn't finish their match at No. 1 singles.

Despite the loss, Heritage finished a four-year run with three Region 8-AAAA championships and a final four appearance in 2009.

"Just a joy to have coached," Smith said. "Couldn't ask for more effort from our players. We accomplished a lot of our goals this season."

Chattahoochee's boys also got straight set wins to advance to the second round. At No. 2 singles, Alvaro Godoy beat Patrick Sanders, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 3 Mike Newell cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Bruce Mitchell and the No. 2 doubles team of Jared Moro and Adrian Salazar knocked off Abenet Addisu and Anthony Adams, 6-1, 6-1.

At No. 1 singles, Rockdale's Shoman Kasbekar won the first set, 6-0 and led 1-0 in the second, and the Cougars' Jay Reynolds and Harrison Huynh and Rockdale's Jason Lauritsen and Trey Hull were in their second set at No. 1 doubles when both matches were stopped.

"I think we're a very deep team this year (and) our kids come from neighborhoods with strong tennis programs. I'm blessed in that regard," said Chattahoochee coach Michael Bennett. "(Rockdale was) a good team."

"Tremendous season, we got better and that was our goal," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "Hopefully next year that experience will make us better ... today, Chattahoochee was just a better team. They had some strong players."