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Prep Tennis: East Hamilton Girls Stop Soddy Daisy, 5-4

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After nearly three hours of singles and doubles with the district title on the line, it came down to a seven point tie-breaker at No.4 singles.

Regular season champ East Hamilton and defending district champ Soddy Daisy were even at four matches each with the winner traveling to Cookeville for the region championship Thursday.

EH’s Avalon Langley and the Trojans Emily Johnson – both of whom who had won their doubles matches which seemed hours before – were even at 8-8 in the pro set format. Langley had a 5-0 lead in games earlier, but Johnson battled back to force the tie-breaker.

Johnson served and lost the opening point, kept it close at 1-2, but Langley ran off the final five points and the host Hurricanes in won 5-4, improved to 16-0 and had their first district title in AAA.

“It was an exciting win for us with Avalon winning the final team point and Hannah Dattilo getting a victory at No.1 singles,†said East Hamilton coach Michael Jackson

Playing doubles first, Soddy Daisy (10-3) took a 2-1 lead, winning at Nos.1 and 3, while EH’s Megan Gallups and Langley defeated district doubles champ Shelby Noe-Katelynn Coyner, 8-6.

EH then won three straight singles matches – Nos.1-2-3 – for a 4-2 advantage before the Trojans evened the match with wins at No.5 (Bailey Coyner) and No.6 (Taylor Stults) as all eyes then turned to the Langley-

Johnson match.

EH had wins from sisters Shelby Dattilo (No.2) and Hannah Dattilo (No.1), plus Gallups at No.3

The victory at No.1 for the Hurricanes was crucial as Dattilo beat district champ Olivia Crawley, 8-6, who had beaten Dattilo yesterday in the district finals and three other times this season.

Four Matches in Four Days: The EH players competed in the District 5-AAA individual singles and doubles tournament, Monday and Tuesday, then the district team championship match today and travel to Cookeville Thursday.

Smart Tennis: A trio of Soddy Daisy juniors carry 4.0 GPA’s … Olivia Crawley is No.1 in the among the juniors, followed by Emily Johnson (No.4) and Shelby Noe (No.7).

6-3 - A Good Way to Play: EH and SD started with doubles, followed by the six singles ... If they had started with singles and one team gained the necessary five wins and had a player who only played doubles she would never have played her match ... participation is the key ... D-II AA has led the way in playoffs with 6-3 format and 8-game pro set doubles first

Now It's 5-2 ... Why ?? no one really knows why D-I AAA and A-AA teams have to drop to a 5-2 format ... thus leaving a player or players at home ... many A-AA schools might not be able to play a 6-3 format due to roster size thus it most likely is good for those schools ...

But -- the vast majority of AAA schools across the state can and do play a 6-3 format during the regular season ... and want to play 6-3 throughout the playoffs ... this needs to be changed.

East Hamilton 5, Soddy Daisy 4

Doubles

Olivia Crawley-Bailey Coyner (SD) def. Hannah Dattilo-Shelby Dattilo, 8-2

Megan Gallups-Avalon Langley (EH) def. Shleby Noe-Katelynn Coyner, 8-6

Emily Johnson-Taylor Stults (SD) def. Andrea Duncan-Allyson Dunavant, 9-7

Singles

Hannah Dattilo (EH) def. Olivia Crawley, 8-6

Shelby Dattilo (EH) def. Shelby Noe, 8-6

Megan Gallups (EH) def. Katelynn Coyner, 8-5

Avalon Langley (EH) def. Emily Johnson, 9-8 (7-1)

Bailey Coyner (SD) def. Andrea Duncan, 8-5

Taylor Stults (SD) def. Madeline Benson, 8-6

Singles order of finish: 2-1-3-6-5-4

Records: East Hamilton (16-0) Soddy Daisy (10-3)

Thursday's Schedule

A-AA Region 4: Notre Dame boys and girls travel to Old Forte Park in Murfreesboro and meet Murfreesboro Central in both matches

A-AA Region 3: Hixson girls at Collegedale at 1 p.m.

​AAA Region: Ooltewah boys and East Hamilton girls travel to Cookeville to take on the Cavalier teams.

(these two matches could be moved to Friday due to expected bad weather on Thursday)

contact B.B. Branton at [email protected]

Edited by bbb

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