DALTON, Ga. - Dalton created themselves an opportunity to make their journey through the Region 7-AAAA tennis tournament as easy as possible, by running the gauntlet in the regular season.
Yet their road the rest of the way promises to be considerably harder.
The Catamount teams claimed quarterfinal victories in the region tournament on Wednesday, and they -- along with LaFayette -- will be playing when play resumes in the semifinal round this morning at 10 a.m. at Lakeshore Park.
The Dalton girls defeated Gilmer 3-0, with victories from Courtney Morton, Kara Pendley and Anna Grace Wilson. The boys had a doubles victory from P.K. Bhatter and Efra Uscanga, and singles wins from Nathan Bryant and Shazman Ali to defeat Northwest Whitfield 3-0. The Bruins had previously defeated Cedartown in a play-in match.
"It's nice being the No. 1 seed," Dalton coach David Hilley said. "You get a little easier draw, but for now we're going to go home and focus on tomorrow."
The Dalton teams will face Cass in the semifinals. Everybody playing today is guaranteed a spot in the state playoffs. That will include the Lady Ramblers, who defeated Pickens County 3-0 and will face the winner of River Ridge and Cedartown -- the lone match that was halted by weather.
Madeline Ensley and Jessica McDaniels had singles victories, while Tori Hunter and Abbey Hannah won at No. 1 doubles.
"Tomorrow should be a fun day," LaFayette coach Clint Harrison said. "There are going to be four really good teams playing."
• The Calhoun tennis teams claimed titles in the Region 7-AA tournament, at Calhoun Recreation Center. The Yellow Jacket boys defeated Armuchee 3-0, and haven't lost a region match all year.
The Calhoun girls defeated Armuchee 3-2, with the No. 2 doubles team of Lexxus King and Madison Turner winning in a third-set tiebreaker.
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.