With three teams considered head-and-shoulders better than the rest of District 7-A/AA in tennis, every match becomes relevant when Chattanooga Christian, Notre Dame and Signal Mountain face one another.
Notre Dame's girls claimed a victory over Signal Mountain last week. Tuesday, the Lady Chargers followed suit.
Buoyed by a trio of tight victories in doubles, CCS added four singles victories to claim a 7-2 victory over the Lady Eagles at the Town Hall of Signal Mountain courts. That knocked Signal Mountain out of contention for the district crown and made the May 2 CCS match against Notre Dame that much more important, since there is no district team tournament.
"I'm really proud of how the girls came into a tough environment and got a win," CCS coach Sue Webb said. "We had some excellent wins in doubles, and some of the younger players stepped up in a big way."
The three doubles matches were decided by a combined eight games. In singles, eighth-grader Hannah Henry won 8-0 and Gretchen Rowe, Gracie Smith and Allie Sullivan also were victorious. In Rowe's match against Kylila Tucker, the senior claimed three ad points in an 8-5 victory.
"I thought the girls really stepped up when they needed to," Webb noted.
Danielle Linhart and Shelby O'Quinn had the Lady Eagles' victories.
"They were all tough matches," Signal coach Keith Dressler said. "That's all I can ask for is for the kids to play hard, and for each to play their best.
"The chips just fell Chattanooga Christian's way today."
Calhoun moving on
The Calhoun tennis teams advanced to today's Georgia Region 7-AA finals with two wins apiece, although they took different paths to get there.
While the Calhoun boys were fighting to 3-2 wins in their first two matches, the girls had a pair of 5-0 victories. In their semifinal match, the Yellow Jackets needed a victory at No. 2 doubles by Taylor Lamb and Clay Johnson to advance to today's 1 p.m. final against Model, a team they beat 4-1 during the regular season.
The undefeated Lady Jackets will face Pepperell. All four teams advance to the state playoffs.
"We felt good about our girls but weren't exactly sure what to expect from the boys because they hadn't faced either team all year," Calhoun coach Lynn Davis said. "I thought they battled and were able to get a couple of tough wins."