Valdosta Daily Times

April 19, 2013

Region champions

Lowndes tennis teams sweep Region 1-AAAAAA titles

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA —  It was a long day. But at the end of it, when the sun had set and the lights were being turned off to end a day filled with high school tennis at McKey Park, both Lowndes teams had a major reason to celebrate.

Lowndes made a clean sweep of the Region 1-AAAAAA tennis championships Thursday, giving the school four spring sports region championships in less than a week. Both Lowndes soccer teams swept the Region 1 championships last Friday with wins over Coffee. The Lowndes baseball team can clinch the region championship tonight with a win over Camden County in Kingsland.

Both Lowndes tennis teams will now serve as No. 1 seeds in the state tournament that begins next week, hosting first round matchups against teams from Region 4, a notoriously tough region that includes schools from Cobb County.

Lowndes’ girls claimed the region championship with a 3-0 win over rival Colquitt County, the Vikettes’ fourth win over the Lady Packers this season. It was the Vikettes’ second straight Region 1 championship, after winning the championship last year and advancing to the Final Four.

The Vikings claimed their second straight region championship with a 3-0 win over the Coffee Trojans, earning the final point in a match that didn’t conclude until after 10:25 p.m.

The Vikettes entered the tournament as the second seed and were given a bye in the first round and in the quarterfinals. They didn’t play their first match of the day until well into the afternoon, when the temperature hit nearly 90 degrees.

Fighting through the heat, the Vikettes beat Coffee, which faced top-seed Camden County in the consolation match after the Wildcats were upset by Colquitt County in the semifinals. The Vikettes downed the Lady Trojans in the semifinals, and advanced to the championship match.

Like the Vikettes, the Lowndes boys were also awarded a bye in the first round and the quarterfinals, not having to play a match until 2 p.m. In the semifinal match, the Vikings made relatively quick work of Colquitt County, winning 3-0 and having the final two points pulled off the court because the match had already been decided.

After waiting out the consolation match between Colquitt County and Camden County, the Vikings faced Coffee in the tournament championship match, which didn’t begin until well after 8 p.m. and didn’t end until after 10 p.m.

The Region 1 tournament began early in the morning, starting with the Valdosta girls’ first round match against Brunswick. The Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Pirates 3-0, and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to third-seeded Coffee.

The Valdosta boys were given a bye in the first round, but fell 4-1 to Colquitt County in the quarterfinals.

With the losses in the quarterfinals, neither Valdosta team qualified for the state tournament.