Tift County eliminated from state tennis playoffs

Apr. 17—TIFTON — Tift County's Lady Devils battled nearly all the way back, but had their hearts broken Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Class 6A state tennis meet by North Atlanta.

North Atlanta won the third set of No. 2 doubles, 6-1 for a 3-2 team win. Earlier Wednesday, Dunwoody won 3-0 over Tift's region champion Blue Devils. Both were played at Tift's courts.

The Lady Devils fell in their first two matches — No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles — before Abby Lupo got them on the board with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles. Minutes later, Anna Lupo wrapped up a 6-0, 7-5 win.

All squared at 2-2, all eyes turned to No. 2 doubles, where Kenyaria Morrow and Madison Garner came back from a tiebreaker loss in their first set with a 6-1 second set.

But it wasn't to be. North Atlanta regained the momentum and won the final set, 6-1, to advance to the sweet 16.

Head coach Ivey Vickers said the ball didn't bounce Tift's way Wednesday.

Riley Griffin fell in straight sets, as did Kate Carpenter and Perrin Turner.

For the boys, Dunwoody took its wins in a pair of singles matches and at No. 2 doubles.

Elijah Hellman was winning his match at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 5-3, when his match was stopped.

Maitrey Patel and Joshua Hellman both dropped to their singles opponents, with Dunwoody also edging Ross Peters and Seth Denham. Besides Elijah Hellman's match, No. 1 doubles was also stopped, Matthew Layfield and Tyson Lasseter dropped their first set, but had nearly pulled even in the second when Dunwoody pulled its players.