CONYERS -- It took two weeks, but the Rockdale tennis team finally got its season under way Tuesday.
The Bulldogs, fresh off a state quarterfinal appearance in 2011, swept seven matches from Loganville in the season opener at the Rockdale Tennis Center.
Rockdale had its first two scheduled matches with Apalachee and Eastside postponed due to rain, and got in its matches with the Red Devils on Tuesday before heavy rain blanketed the Conyers area.
In girls play, Summer Walker got her sophomore campaign off to a dominant start, defeating Bethany Bowers, 6-0, 6-0 in No. 1 singles. Walker's win, along with Bianca Brown's 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles, Ciara Chesser's 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Libby and Abby Bradford winning 6-4, 6-2 gave Rockdale a 4-0 win.
The boys won 3-0, getting victories from Patrick Sanders at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-3), Trey Hull at No. 2 singles (6-1, 6-3) and the No. 1 doubles team of Jason Lauritsen and Anthony Adams (6-3, 6-2).
"They were all a little nervous. Once we started getting our feet under us, we started getting better," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said.
Seminoles boys pick up region soccer win
CONYERS -- Salem didn't have much margin for error Tuesday against Cedar Shoals. Luckily for the Seminoles, Kai Uchimura didn't make any.
The keeper made a number of great saves, including a diving stop with less than 10 minutes to play, preserving a 1-0 Salem victory in Region 8-AAAA play.
Salem, playing in its league opener, moved to 3-1 overall.
Down 1-0, Cedar had a great chance to tie the game with 9:17, but Uchimura made a great play on Dennis Duarte's shot, deflecting the ball away. Freshman Jonah Griswold had broken a scoreless tie, rifling a goal from 25 yards out to put the Seminoles up 1-0 with 22:39 left in the game.
Neither team had many chances during the opening half as a rain-drenched field and steady rainfall hampered play. Salem had the first chance of the game as Griswold got free, but had his shot saved just over two minutes in.
Jorge Valdez was a one-man offense in the early stages for the visiting Jaguars. The senior forward had a pair of shots three minutes apart saved by Uchimura, the last of which rolled up the Salem keeper's arm and glanced off the post. With 14:33 left in the half, Uchimura made a diving stop of Valdez's shot to keep the game scoreless.
Cedar Shoals fell to 0-4 overall and 0-3 against region foes.
Patriots remain unbeaten
WATKINSVILLE -- Class AAAA No. 8 Heritage finished in a 1-1 tie with Oconee County on Tuesday.
Trailing 1-0, the Patriots (4-0-1) got a goal from Arielle Gunderson off a corner kick by Kaley Wells to pull even with 20 minutes to play. The Heritage defense then held off a strong Oconee County team, which is ranked No. 10 in Class AAA.
"Great game, great playoff atmosphere. Oconee is good," said Heritage coach Chad Suddeth, whose team had already knocked off one ranked team in Parkview, then ranked in Class AAAAA. "We played down most of the night and really battled through some adversity. The girls answered the bell."