Nine teams earn chance to defend state titles

High school tennis

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

High school tennis

The title matches are all set for the state championships on Saturday at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Four boys teams and five girls teams will be back to defending their championships. The girls matches begin at 9 a.m. and the boys begin play at 1 p.m

Class 7A -- Boys: Defending champion Lambert beat North Gwinnett 3-1 and will play West Forsyth, a 3-0 winner over Campbell. That sets up a rematch of last year’s championship match. Girls: West Forsyth ended Walton’s three-year title run, eliminating the Raiders 3-1. Milton beat North Gwinnett 3-1 in the other semifinal.

Class 6A -- Boys: Johns Creek will be back to defend its champion and try to win its sixth straight championship. The Gladiators beat Dunwoody 3-0 in the semifinal round. Johns Creek got victories from Andrew Hertfelder at No. 1 singles, Jaden Wong and Aaron Chang at No. 1 doubles, and Parth Mody and Kaun Manyam at No. 2 doubles. Pope reached the final by defeating Riverwood 3-1. This will be the third meeting of the season between Johns Creek and Pope, who split the two previous matches. Girls: Marist will try to make it five straight state champions after beating Pope 3-0. Lakeside-Evans beat Roswell 3-2 in the other semifinal game.

Class 5A-- Boys: Greater Atlanta Christian will get a chance to defend its championship after a 3-0 win over Centennial. Chattahoochee awaits on the other side after beating Cambridge 3-2 in their semifinal matchup. Girls: Northview will get a chance to defend its title after beating Centennial 3-2 in the semifinal. The Titans will meet Cambridge, who advanced after beating Decatur 3-0.

Class 4A-- Boys: Westminster, led by Charlie and Jack Burdell, will be going for their fourth straight state championship. The Wildcats beat North Hall 3-0. The other finalist is Pace Academy, a 3-1 victor over North Oconee. Girls: Pace Academy will be chasing its fifth straight state championship after beating Southeast Bulloch 3-0. Pace has lost only one match through the first four rounds. Westminster advanced to the final by defeating North Hall 3-0.

Class 3A -- Boys: Columbus earned a spot in the championship match by knocking out two-time defending champion Wesleyan 3-0 in the semifinal round. Lumpkin County defeated Dawson County 4-1 to earn its way into the final. Girls: Wesleyan will be playing for its third consecutive title after defeating Columbus 3-0 in the semifinal. Sophie Gibbs and Alexa Chase won at No. 1 and No. 3 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Kate Stolle and Ava Singh prevailed. Oconee County eliminated 2023 runner-up Savannah Country Day 3-0 in the other semifinal.

Class 2A-- Boys: There will be a new champion this year after Athens Academy ousted defending champion Mount Paran Christian 3-0. The Spartans will play Landmark Christian, a 3-2 winner over Brantley County. Girls: Jeff Davis earned the right to defend its title by defeating Appling County 3-2 in a match that took more than five hours to complete. Brantley County reached the final with a 3-1 win over Savannah Arts.

Class A Division I -- Boys: Darlington eliminated Whitefield Academy 3-1 in the semifinal and will meet Mount Vernon, a 3-1 winner of Galloway in their Final Four match. Girls: Mount Vernon, runner-up a year ago, returned to the final by beating Galloway 3-1. Atlanta International, which won the boys championship in 2023, will try to bring home the girls title after beating Rabun County 3-0.

Class A Division II -- Boys: Seminole County eliminated two-time champion Lake Oconee County 3-0 in the semifinal round. The Indians will meet Aquinas, a 3-0 winner over Johnson County, in the championship match. Girls – Lake Oconee Academy and Telfair County will play for the championship. Lake Oconee Academy bounced Johnson County, last year’s runner-up, 3-1. Telfair County eliminated Taylor County 3-2.