RINGGOLD, Ga. — The Heritage High School boys' tennis players had plenty of time to get loose before their Georgia Class AAA first-round playoff match against Gainesville on Tuesday.
When the match started, however, the Generals came out tight.
The ninth-ranked Elephants took advantage, jumping ahead in each of the five matches and winning 4-1 in the Generals' first-ever home playoff match.
Gainesville (13-6) was over an hour late for a match scheduled to start at 4:30, but came out relaxed and controlled the matches early while Heritage struggled with nerves and missed opportunities.
Hadyn Fava had the Generals' lone win at No. 1 singles, rallying from down 5-2 in the first set to defeat Conner McMorrow 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in the last match completed.
"Hadyn wasn't going to lose," Heritage coach Darren Miller said. "We just didn't have it today. We found it, but it was later in the match and we were too far behind."
Miller praised the Elephants' ability to keep shots in play.
"They were consistent all the way down," he said.
Austinn Miller and Jackson Goble won singles matches for Gainesville. Jake Maddux and Graham McKinnon won at No. 1 doubles, and Alexander Davis and Jake McCardel were victorious at No. 2.
"I'm proud of the guys for coming out and working hard," Gainesville coach Barrett Lingenfelter said. "Our doubles teams played well. We work hard with them on their lines, and we're blessed to have a lot of kids come out to play tennis and a lot of depth."
Said Miller: "I thought we hit the high point of our season when we defeated Cartersville [in the region semifinals]. That was a big win for us, and we were able to host a state playoff match.
"It was a great season for us."
Heritage finished the year 12-3.