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GCA tennis players advance to state tournament

The GAPPS Division 1, Section 1 state tennis qualifiers were held at the Bill Reynolds tennis complex on Monday, hosted by Grace Christian Academy. The competing schools were, Citizens Christian Academy (Douglas), Fullington Academy (Pinehurst), Nathanael Greene Academy (Siloam), Rock Springs Christian Academy (Milner), Sherwood Christian Academy (Albany) and GCA.

Several GCA students placed and will advance to the state tournament. Pate Beckham came in as runner-up in boy’s singles, playing against Grant Fricks from Sherwood, with Fricks edging out a win in a tie-breaker. Beckham will proceed to the individual state tournament on May 10 in Rome, Ga. For girls, Hannah Friedman advanced for girl’s singles, while Ella Harrell and Kassidy Widner finished in third in the bracket for doubles. Harrell and Widner initially believed they were playing a 2-3 set, when it was an 8 game pro set, and were able to come back to win 9-7. Friedman, Harrell and Widner will also proceed to individual tournament. The girls’ team also finished third overall and will advance to the team state tournament on May 11, also in Rome. (There is not currently a full boys tennis team, with four lines required, and only three currently.)

“It was a long hot day of tennis, and they played to the best of their ability,” Coach Rhonda Wells said. “I’m super proud of how the girls finished points-wise, in a tough region… I was so pleased with the weather, and as always I feel so blessed to be able to offer up our beautiful facility to host this event. Rec Department director Joel Holmes and facility staff, especially Piper Loeffler were super helpful all day in assisting us with anything we needed.”

She also expressed optimism for the new teams next year, as there will be both a full boys’ and girls’ team next year.

“I’m looking forward to next year, we can only go up,” Wells finished.