ROME -- Rain won out over tennis Saturday at the state championships.
Only four of 16 matches were completed at the Rome Tennis Center. That included the Kell girls, who lost a 3-0 decision to defending state champion Chamblee in the Class AAAAA final.
Matches starting as early as 8 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the late morning showers, but play was first delayed at 10:30 a.m. when lightning was detected in the area.
The Walker girls were midway through the Class A private-school state championship match against Brookstone when they were called off the court, and the North Cobb boys had yet to start play against Brookwood for the Class AAAAAAA crown.
Just after noon, when rain kept spoiling attempts made to dry the courts, the matches were officially postponed until early next week.
“We will never have a big enough break to get the courts dry,” said Steve Figueroa, director of tennis for the Georgia High School Association. “We had almost gotten the courts dry and ready to play, and it started raining again, and I’m afraid it’s going to be that way all day. We’ve got teams with prom, and they didn’t want to wait here all afternoon just to watch it rain.”
Walker and Brookstone will pick up from where they left off, tied 1-all, when their match resumes Monday at 4 p.m. on the Brookstone School campus in Columbus.
Rilee White lost the first set 6-3 at No. 1 singles and was ahead 1-0 in the second when play was suspended. Brecca Stoll had just won the first set 7-5 at No. 3, while Rhodes Reddick and Lindsey Riley lost their opening set in a tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles.
Linden Patterson had already won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles to give Walker its first point, while sisters Gabby and Grace Harwell fell 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles.
“We just go with the flow. That’s a part of it. It’s a part of sports” Walker coach Andrea Barnett said. “It’s good. They’re ready to play on Monday.”
North Cobb will head to Brookwood on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. start inside the Montclair neighborhood across from the Broncos' campus. A win would give the school its first boys team championship.
“They were excited to play (Saturday), but it’s life,” North Cobb coach Nishmin Porbandarwala said. “Rain has become a four-letter word this season, and they’ve done a good job accommodating. They’re used to getting some place, waiting around, and then it's canceled. It’s not the first time it’s happened. They’re used to it.
After Kell took Chamblee to the brink a year ago in a 3-2 loss that eclipsed the four-hour mark, the Lady Longhorns looked outmatched in this year's Class AAAAA final, despite the teams returning the majority of their players. .
Multiple changes to Chamblee's lineup ended up playing in the Lady Bulldogs’ favor. Only Grace Pietkiewicz remained at No. 2 singles, where she had a rematch with Emily Dearing after winning in three sets for the clincher in 2018.
This year, the Kell were unable to win a set off of Chamblee. Alex Rapplean and Paulina Katsoudas lost 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, Abby Johnson and Sam Goss fell 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 and Samantha Norman lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.
“They came out a whole different team,” Kell coach Ryan Hill said of Chamblee. "They were a better and different team than last year."