Rockdale boys tennis join girls as region champs

MCDONOUGH -- Rockdale made it a clean sweep of Region 2-AAAAAA tennis Wednesday. The boys finished a perfect season in region play, defeating Alcovy 4-0 to win the first region championship in program history, a day after the Rockdale girls also accomplished the feat for the first time.

The Bulldogs, who improved to 16-4, didn't lose a game in going 8-0 in their first season in the Class AAAAAA region. Both the boys and girls teams will host first round state playoff matches next week.

"It's a great feeling," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "A couple years ago was the first time they'd made state in the same year and ever since then our goal had been to win the region. It's special, the kids have been talking about it for the last week or two, (and) they just were really excited about it, because they know what it means for us."

In the win over Alcovy, No. 1 singles Patrick Sanders, No. 2 Trey Hull and No. 3 Logan Hull each won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, while the No. 1 doubles team of Bruce Mitchell and Collin Shamley picked up a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Rockdale reached the final with a 3-0 semifinal victory over Druid Hills as Trey Hull won 6-2, 6-2, Logan Hull won 6-0, 6-0 and the No. 2 doubles team of Abenet Addisu and Chris DaSilva secured a 6-0, 6-2 victory.

"Today was tough; the other guys came to play. Druid Hills, especially, gave us some good matches," Sansing said. "One thing I liked, too, in each match: Somebody different was able to come through with wins for us."

Alcovy, which as the No. 2 seed will also host a state playoff match next week, defeated Luella in the semifinals.

In the Region 8-AAAAA tournament, the Heritage girls finished third with a 3-1 win over Winder-Barrow in the third-place match, while the boys lost 3-0 to Winder to settle for the region's No. 4 seed.

Both teams had already qualified for the state tournament with 3-0 quarterfinal wins Tuesday -- the girls defeated county rival Salem and the boys knocked off Cedar Shoals.

Despite the loss Wednesday, the Heritage boys return to the state tournament after falling short the last two seasons.

"For these boys that have been with us, it's good," said boy's coach Chuck Landy. "I feel like our boys, we hit the ball well (Wednesday). We go back, we're in the tournament again, we feel like we're heading into the right direction. We're proud of them."

The girls lost to Flowery Branch in the semifinals, but bounced back against Winder, thanks to wins at No. 2 singles by Alexis Smith (6-1, 6-0 winners), No. 3 singles by Logan Bouchillon (6-0, 6-2) and the No. 1 doubles team of Devin McClaurin and Fran Murry (6-3, 6-2).

Both Heritage teams will open next week's state tournament on the road.