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Rockdale sweeps Newton on court

Staff photo: Manny Fils  Newton's No. 1 singles player Darrin Hollis continues a volley against Rockdale's Patrick Sanders during Wednesday's match.

Staff photo: Manny Fils Newton's No. 1 singles player Darrin Hollis continues a volley against Rockdale's Patrick Sanders during Wednesday's match.

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Staff photo: Manny Fils Rockdale's Summer Walker starts the game against Newton's Marie Diaz during the No. 1 singles match.

CONYERS -- Rockdale's tennis team had little trouble against Region 2-AAAAAA opponent Newton as Rockdale only lost nine games to get a 5-0, 5-0 win on Tuesday.

Playing an 8-game pro-set, Newton was scoreless in two of the five boys matches and three of the five girls matches.

"Rockdale has a really strong boys team and we knew that coming in. We knew that it would be a really tough match for us," Newton head coach Michael Bryan said. "We were pretty much overmatched. Across the board, Rockdale just played really well."

In the boys matches, Rockdale's Patrick Sanders at No. 1 singles and Logan Hull at No. 3 singles blanked their opponents, winning 8-0.

Newton's Courtney Manning at No. 2 singles and the teams of Craig Thomas/Delique Allen at No. 1 doubles and Josue Diaz/Anthony Bradley at No. 2 doubles managed to win a game in their matches.

"I think our guys gave a good effort and that's what I ask from our players," Bryan said. "They're all relatively new to tennis."

But getting the wins for Rockdale were Trey Hull at No. 2 singles and the teams of Abnet Addisu/Chris DaSilva at No. 1 doubles and Bruce Mitchell/Collin Shamley at No. 2 doubles.

Newton came closest to winning a match game in the No. 3 singles competition. Newton's Irma Soriano was down 1-0 after the first set but quickly rebounded to take a commanding 4-1 lead. But that was when Alliyah Byrd charged back to win the next seven games to give Rockdale the sweep with an 8-4 win.

"Her mental game has been the difference this year," Rockdale head coach Stephen Sansing said of Byrd. "(Tuesday) night we played Grayson and the match score was 2-2 when she went out and played. She was down in both sets 4-3 and won the last three games of each to win 6-4. She's not shaken when she's down, and that's good."

The other match that Newton won a game was in the No. 2 doubles match as Ify Egbulem and Ashley Jean-Baptiste won two games. But they were unable to keep up with the team of Sydney Norton and Kyia Havens as Rockdale won 8-2.

Shutting out Newton in their matches for the 8-0 win were Summer Walker at No. 1 singles, Ciara Chesser at No. 2 singles and the team of Abby Bradford and Destiny Commodore at No. 1 doubles.

"I was hoping for a little better result on the girls side," Bryan said. "They've beaten us the last couple of years 4-1 but I was hoping, based on the way we've played so far, to be a little more competitive."