published Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Ooltewah Owls, Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojans lead 5-AAA tennis

ATHENS, Tenn. — The Soddy-Daisy girls' tennis team has been on the cusp of winning an outright district championship before, as last season the Lady Trojans fell just short.

Through the first day of the 2013 District 5-AAA individual tournament, they've given themselves a chance to break through.

The Lady Trojans lead the way after the first day of competition at Ingleside Park with six points. They'll have to hold off charges from Walker Valley, Cleveland and Rhea County -- all of whom are within two points.

The Ooltewah boys lost only one match Monday and lead with seven points -- one ahead of Walker Valley, which has six.

Soddy-Daisy's girls and Ooltewah's boys won the regular-season titles, but should another team win more matches in the individual tournament, the Lady Trojans or Owls would have to defend its title in a one-match playoff Wednesday. The Lady Trojans were in a similar situation last season and fell in the playoff to Walker Valley.

"I think it still eats at the girls," Soddy-Daisy coach Lorri Johnson said. "They remember what it felt like and are wanting to do whatever to fight and win.

"They don't want to hand the plaque to somebody else."

The team region tournament begins Thursday with the girls. The boys will play Friday.

Soddy-Daisy and Walker Valley each has two entries still playing for individual titles, and the two face off in a doubles match this afternoon at 1.

Ooltewah's boys have both doubles teams playing, as well as Bryson Lype in singles.

"I thought we took care of business today, but tomorrow is a different day," Ooltewah coach Ken Buchanan said. "We're not looking too far ahead. We're just taking it one match at a time."

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