Valdosta Daily Times

April 24, 2013

Vikettes beat North Cobb, move on to second round

Christian Malone
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Lowndes’ girls tennis team moved on to the second round of the state playoffs with a 3-1 win over North Cobb on Tuesday.

The Vikettes will host either East Coweta or Luella in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs next week.

“I’m real proud of the girls,” Lowndes head coach Heath Phelps said. “They really performed well today.”

“(A playoff win against) Region 4 is sweet,” Phelps added. “No matter if it’s the first seed or the fourth seed, it’s an accomplishment in the first round of state. Today’s match could have gone either way. Our players dug in and took care of it.”

Haley Tubbs and Maggie Wisenbaker, Lowndes’ No. 2 doubles team, got the Vikettes’ first win on Tuesday, defeating North Cobb’s Marisa Albonese and Lauren Morgan in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

Taylor Vinge, Lowndes’ No. 1 singles player, also won her match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0 over Jasmin Morgan. Vinge’s victory left Lowndes needing to win only one more match to move on to the second round.

But getting that third win would not be easy. North Cobb won the No. 3 singles match, with Molly Bertel winning a three set match against Lowndes’ Kristen Dodd, a freshman playing her first varsity match (in place of injured senior Alden Minick). Lowndes’ Emily Singletary and North Cobb’s Lauren D’Olympio battled through a long first set that ended up being decided by a tiebreaker.

The No. 1 doubles match turned out to be a tremendous back-and-forth contest. North Cobb’s Claire Bracken and Morgan Zahnd won the first set 6-3. In the second set, Bracken and Zahnd traded sets with Lowndes’ Lori and Laina Taylor. The Taylor sisters took a 5-4 lead, then broke their opponents to win the second set 6-4.

Early in the third set, Bracken and Zahnd built a 5-2 lead, and were just one game away from winning the match. But then the Taylor sisters dominated the rest of the match. They won five straight games, and turned a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 third set win, and won the match.

Lori and Laina Taylor’s three-set win also gave their team the win, and secured the Vikettes’ spot in the second round.

“(Lori and Laina’s win) was big, especially being down 5-2 and coming back and winning five straight games in the deciding match,” Phelps said.

The final singles match, between Singletary and D’Olympio, was not completed because Lowndes had already secured the team victory.

Lowndes’ boys tennis team will host Kennesaw Mountain today at 2:30 p.m. in its first round playoff match. Kennesaw Mountain defeated Lowndes 4-1 earlier this season on clay courts on Jekyll Island.