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Rockdale wins region titles
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For the first time, both the Rockdale girls' and boys' tennis teams are region champions.

The girls clinched the title and a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs by defeating Luella in the Region 2-AAAAAAA championship Tuesday.

The boys then followed suit with a 4-0 win over Alcovy Wednesday for the school's second region title in as many days.

"Both teams played really well during the tournament," Rockdale tennis coach Stephen Sansing said. "We've had a lot of preparation during the season, playing a lot of strong out-of-region opponents. That kind of helped us bear down and focus to do our best at the tournament."

Both teams will host the first round of the state tournament against Douglas County, starting at 3:30 Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs reached Tuesday's game thanks in part to their depth, which helped prepare them for tougher challenges in the region tournament. Rockdale's No. 1 singles player, Summer Walker, was out at national tournaments several times this season, enabling her teammates to play up against tougher competition.

"Because of how good she is, she had to go to different tournaments around the southeast and she's had to miss a few matches because of that," Sansing said. "On the days she missed, that allowed other players to step up and play at a level maybe they always wouldn't play at. It allowed them to be stronger."

That strength proved a key Tuesday, putting the Lady Bulldogs back in the state playoffs.

The boys' team also returns to the state playoffs, for the third straight year. Rockdale returned to the regional championship for a third year in a row, after having lost the previous two.

Wednesday, Rockdale defeated Alcovy 4-0 for its fourth-straight win and 12th in its last 13 games. The Bulldogs reached the region final after beating Luella 3-0 in the McDonough-hosted tournament.

"Basically, we just took care of business," Sansing said. "That's really what we did. There were a couple of matches that were kind of close but, pretty much, we were up in all."