Rockdale girls tennis coach Stephen Sansing believes his team is a better than the 2013 version that reached the Class AAAAAA round of 16. After Wednesday’s performance it’d be easy to convince Heritage of that fact.
The Bulldogs swept five matches from their county rivals, while bouncing back from a loss to the Patriots early last season.
Rockdale dominated singles play, losing just five games. No. 1 singles player Summer Walker, a University of Connecticut signee, won 6-0, 6-0 over Bianca Brown, while No. 2 Destiny Commodore defeated Fran Murry 6-1, 6-3. At No. 3, McKenna Comiskey bested Logan Bouchillen 6-1, 6-0.
“We wanted to come out and kind of establish ourselves,” said Sansing. “The girls really responded today, they played hard and played tough, they just really responded.”
Abby Bradford and Tiara Anthony knocked off Julie Roseberry and Addy Allegretti 6-2, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles play. Heritage had its best chance for a victory come at No. 2 doubles where Melissa Godwin and Becca Rackley won the second set 6-4 to even the match before falling to Sydney Norton and Aliyah Byrd 6-2 in the third set.
“It was very competitive, several of the matches were very close, even if the score didn’t show it,” Sansing said. “It’s big, coming into today, the fact that over the last six years, they’ve probably beaten us about nine times, and we’ve probably beaten them once in the girls. Even last year, we had our best season and we lost to them second match of the year. Heritage has got a good team, we just played a little bit better.”
Heritage, a Class AAAAA round of 16 team from a year ago, was part of a challenging non-region schedule put together by Sansing in an effort to help the Bulldogs prepare for the state playoffs. In the past week, the Bulldogs have also played state tournament teams Union Grove and Grayson in non-league play, to go along with a trip and runner-up finish at the Peachtree City Invitational in late-February.
“We definitely wanted to load up on some good competitive matches at the end of the season…it’s just helped us get better,” Sansing said.