During the regular season, the District 5-AAA tennis race was extremely tight. Although Soddy-Daisy's girls won the title, it was in a four-team race with McMinn County, Rhea County and Walker Valley. Going into the district tournament, it wasn't expected to be much different.
After the first day of the event, those expectations have been confirmed.
The top-seeded Lady Trojans lead the event with six points, but McMinn and Walker Valley each has five and Rhea has four along with Cleveland.
The boys' competition also is close, as McMinn's Cherokees and Rhea's Golden Eagles lead regular-season champion Cleveland by two points headed into today's play at 11 a.m. at Middle Valley. In the event of rain, the matches will be moved indoors at the nearby Racquet Club.
"Our lead is not a clear lead," Soddy-Daisy coach Lorri Johnson said. "We have a big semifinal match against Walker Valley, so we'll get a clear-cut idea as to how the tournament will go early tomorrow."
A team is awarded a point for every match victory. If a team other than Cleveland's boys or Soddy-Daisy's girls has the most points after today's action, there will be a head-to-head match Wednesday to determine the district champion.
n The District 7-A/AA tournament also got under way, and the teams that had dominated the regular season -- Chattanooga Christian, Notre Dame and Signal Mountain -- did the same Monday at the Champions Club. Of the 14 semifinalists who have been determined, all except Lookout Valley's David Jones is from those three schools.
"The tournament went pretty much as we'd expected it to go today," Notre Dame coach Anne Ricksecker said. "I thought our girls played very well and that our boys have continued to get better."
Play is scheduled to start at 1 this afternoon.