Columbus High used solid doubles play and a big win at No. 2 singles by Parker Bray to defeat LaGrange 3-1 Thursday and advance to the semifinals of the GHSA Class AAAA state tennis tournament.
Bray gave up only one game as he defeated freshman Conner Mahan, 6-1, 6-0. Rob Montfort and Ryan Gordon matched that score as they downed Richard Bryant and PJ Alford at the No. 1 doubles position to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
"We had played them twice and won both this year already as they are (Region 5) opponents so we were familiar with their play," Columbus High tennis coach Betsey Zachry said.
Clinching the win for the Blue Devils (18-6) was the No. 2 doubles team of Arnev Patel and Andrew Bray as they defeated Jas Singh and Franco Feria, 6-1, 6-4. The Blue Devils doubles team raced to a 6-1, 4-1 advantage before the Grangers came back and made the second set 5-4 before Patel and Bray closed it out.
Picking up the sole win for LaGrange was Emory Deloach who beat Ellis Bunn, 6-0, 6-4. Columbus' No. 3 singles player, Nathan Lovett, was ahead 2-1 in the first set when
the match was clinched, so his match was pulled.
'This has been a 4-year journey for our team," Zachry said. "The difference this year is that our guys go on the court now knowing they can win and the confidence is showing."
Columbus High's semifinal match will be at Spalding County at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Spalding beat West Laurens 4-1 on Thursday. The state finals are scheduled for May 11.
Thursday at Lakebottom
No. 1: Emory Deloach (L) def. Ellis Bunn (C), 6-0, 6-4; No. 2: Parker Bray (C) def. Conner Mahan (L), 6-1, 6-0; No. 3: Nathan Lovett (C) led Clay Dodson (L), 2-1
No. 1-Rob Monfort-Ryan Gordon (C) def. Richard Bryant-PJ Alford (L), 6-1, 6-0; No. 2-Arnav Patel-Andrew Bray (C) def. Jas Singh-Franco Feria (L), 6-1, 6-4