CAMILLA -- Two-time defending state champ Sydnee Smith had no trouble winning her third region title in a row and Westwood's boys and girls swept their way to team titles Monday in the GISA Region 3-A Tournament.
Smith beat her teammate, Savannah Jones, 6-0, 6-2, to win the girls title, and Westwood's No. 1 doubles team of Kaycie Eubanks and Annabelle Larkin won the doubles title. Westwood's other doubles team of Kathryn Collins and Claire Collins qualified for the state individuals tournament in Macon next Monday.
There was also an all-Westwood final in the boys tournament at singles. Jake Kotter beat teammate Dylan Larkin, 6-3, 7-5, and John Vereen finished third in boys singles as the Wildcats went 1-2-3 in singles. They swept the boys doubles title. Mason Jones and Jay Patel won the title, beating teammates Daniel Hays and Nolan Rigsby, 6-3, 61.
"I'm real proud of them. They really showed up,'' said tennis coach Carole Powell, whose boys team won its second straight region title and the fifth in the last six years. The girls won their third region title in a row.
Powell was especially happy to see her girls doubles team win the title. Eubanks and Larkin had to beat two teams that had beaten them in the regular season -- and did just that.
"I talked to them before (the tournament) and told them, 'You better bring it, or you're not going to state on Monday,' " Powell said. "And they dang sure did it.''
The group will go to the state tournament in Macon next week to play for individual titles and both teams will go to the state tournament for team titles in Augusta on April 27.
DWS still alive for title
TIFTON -- Deerfield Windsor's tennis teams had a long day but are in great shape in the GISA Region 3-AAA Tournament at ABAC, where the boys team will send No. 1 Beau Sinyard and both doubles teams into today's semifinal round. DWS' girls will have No. 1 Joyner Tyson playing today as well as both doubles teams.
"We're on track,'' DWS coach Meredith Gruhl said. "But we have to have some canceling out (today). It should go down to the wire in the boys between us and Tiftarea and in the girls between us and Westfield. But it's no fun if it's not close.''
It was more than close for Sinyard, who needed three hours and 15 minutes to beat Southland's Andrew Carroll, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, to reach today's semifinal round.
"Beau played the match of his life,'' Gruhl said. "It was courageous. He just out-gutted him. They were both cramping so bad by the end of the match. Tennis was very ugly, but the wills were unbelievable.''
The DWS doubles team of Robert Newsome and Reid Wright beat Sherwood's Andrew Bode and Matt Capogreca, 6-0, 6-1, and the No. 2 doubles team of Nasser Rizvi and Will Calhoun beat Southland's Kyle Crew and Bennett Souter, 6-2, 6-0, to advance.
The DWS girls doubles team of Paige Hawke and Caroline Holley advanced with a 6-2, 6-0, and DWS' Hope Kitchen and Lucy Kelley advanced after a 6-0, 6-1 win.