Lady Raiders clinch No. 130
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
April 28, 2010 12:00 AM | 1349 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emily Zabor scored the clinching point, 
winning 
at No. 1 singles, as Walton beat Marietta in its second-round state playoff match and setting up a potential battle with Peachtree Ridge.
Emily Zabor scored the clinching point, winning at No. 1 singles, as Walton beat Marietta in its second-round state playoff match and setting up a potential battle with Peachtree Ridge.
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MARIETTA - Walton won its 130th straight match with a 3-0 sweep of Marietta on Tuesday in second round of the Class AAAAA girls tennis state tournament.

If the top-ranked Lady Raiders can win three more matches and clinch their seventh straight title, their streak would grow to 133, one shy of the Taylor County girls basketball team, which set the state's all-sport record with 134 wins from 1968-72.

Walton had already beat the second-longest streak of 122.

"It's exciting. Every match is big at this point," Walton coach Roberta Manheim said. "I really don't pay attention to future matches. We just focus on what we need to do next."

Walton's next match will likely be against second-ranked Peachtree Ridge, which was undefeated going into its second-round match against Brookwood. Like Walton, Peachtree Ridge's singles players are highly ranked in the USTA.

"(Peachtree Ridge) will be tough, but we'll be ready for it," said Walton's singles ace, Emily Zabor said on the potential meeting with the Lady Lions. "I have good friends on that team, and we'll have to come out and be on top of our game."

The Lady Raiders dropped only seven games against a Marietta team highly respected in Region 5AAAAA. The Lady Blue Devils, who finished their season with a 17-5 record, had just two region losses, both of which came to 5AAAAA champ Etowah.

Zabor's serve and forehand rarely let her down in her 6-2, 6-2 victory over Megan McLinden at No. 1 singles, which was the clinching point for Walton. She used a couple of early breaks to seize control of the first set before McLinden started getting into sync at the start of the second.

But with the second score at 2-all, Zabor reeled off four straight games to win the match.

"I had to hit the ball away from her and start closing out points," Zabor said.

Marietta also had difficulty keeping pace with Walton at No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles. Marietta's Mary Kaitlyn Nelson and Kelsy Aho were in several games with Amelia McIssac and Claire Marshall but were shut out 6-0, 6-0. Stephanie Falcon gave up just three games in defeating Gilly McLinden 6-3, 6-0.

Walton's Maxie Weinberg was tied at 5-all in the first set with Marietta's Brooke Donnelly at No. 2 singles when the match was clinched. The No. 2 doubles match was still warming up.
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