Heritage, Rockdale split in tennis

CONYERS -- The duo of Devon McLaurins and Fran Murry have only been playing tennis for about a year. It didn't show Wednesday in Conyers.

The Heritage pair won a third set tiebreaker, 6-4 over Ciara Chesser and Brooke Tryon to clinch a 3-2 victory over Rockdale.

"They get the ball back in play and they hustle. That's their greatest attributes," Heritage coach Brian Smith said of McLaurin and Murry. "They've put (in) a lot of time and effort and it's showing up in the scores."

"I think we're at least at the point where the outcome of the match is undecided (beforehand)," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "That's what makes a rivalry, makes it more fun."

The teams split the first four matches. Rockdale got a win at No. 1 singles from Summer Walker, 6-2, 6-2 over Alix Maloney, and Libby and Abby Bradford had no trouble at No. 1 doubles, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Kenzie Zirbel and Julie Roseberry. Heritage tied it up with wins at No. 2 singles (Kaylee Humphries, 6-1, 6-1) and No. 3 singles (Ashley Merkel, 6-2, 6-2), which set up the tiebreaker.

In boys play, Rockdale knocked off Heritage for the third consecutive time, 5-0. At No. 1 singles, Shoman Kasbekar won in dominating fashion, 6-0, 6-1 over Demetrius Lewis to get things going for the Bulldogs.

"He looked good today, that's good to see," said Bulldogs coach Stephen Sansing. "Good to see him out there kind of taking care of business."

Kasbekar started Rockdale on its sweep as the No. 1 doubles team of Jason Lauritsen and Anthony Adams outlasted Sylvester Henderson and Hunter Hudson 6-4 in the first set, then clinched the straight-set victory with a 6-2 win in set two. No. 2 singles Patrick Sanders also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 over Jay Vinson.

"For the first two years I played, Rockdale was kind of the bottom dog," said Kasbekar, a senior. "So, it's kind of a reversal of fortunes. Definitely feels good."

Trey Hull defeated Levi Lund, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, and Collin Shamley and Abenet Addisu won 2-1 at No. 2 doubles, having to rebound from a 6-2 loss in the first set to win 6-4, 6-2.

"We just got to get more consistent ... got to give ourselves a chance, don't hand it to them," said Heritage boys coach Chuck Landy. "We've been in a lot of close matches."