Tennis blog: Seven schools shooting for first state titles

The same teams tend to reach the state tennis tournament and this year is no exception. There are nine defending champions in the field.

But there are also some surprise teams, too. Seven teams are trying to earn their first state titles.

In boys competition, Cambridge in Class 6A and Wesleyan in Class A Private are in the finals, but have never won a state title. In girls competition, Alpharetta (7A), North Atlanta (6A), Centennial (6A), LaGrange (4A) and George Walton Academy (A Private) are all trying to break through.

Cambridge will have to defeat defending champion Johns Creek again to win the title The Bears beat the Gladiators 3-2 for the Region 7 championship, a match determined by the third set at No. 1 singles. Cambridge has won its four tournament matches by 3-0 scores and beat Centennial in the semifinals.

Wesleyan defeated Mount Paran Christian 3-0 to reach the final. Grayson Balloon plays No. 1 singles for the Wolves.

The Alpharetta girls have bullied their way through to the finals, losing only one point in four matches. The Raiders beat Lambert 3-1 in the Final Four.

North Atlanta, the Region 4 champion, has lost only one point in four matches and beat Lassiter 3-0 to reach the championship. It is trying to become the first Atlanta Public School team to win the state tennis tournament since Drew Charter in 2017.

Centennial, which will face North Atlanta in the final, has not one a state title, either. The Knights beat Johns Creek 3-1 in the semifinal, the first point it has lost in four matches. Centennial is the No. 2 seed from Region 7, losing to Cambridge in the title game. North Atlanta beat Cambridge in the quarterfinals.

LaGrange, the Region 2 champion, has lost only one point in four playoff matches. The Grangers beat West Laurens 3-0 in the semifinal match. It marks the first time LaGrange has reached the final since 2013. LaGrange coach Kenny Moore needs three victories to reach 900 for his career. Sydney Edelson plays No. 1 singles for the Grangers.

George Walton, the Region 8 champion, has shown a lot of grit in reaching the title match. The Bulldogs beat Mount Vernon 3-2 in the quarterfinals and Holy Innocents’ 3-1 in the semifinal. GWA has two excellent doubles teams in Abby Mack and Mia Smith and the duo of Avery Collins and Riley Root.