TIFTON — The Berrien Rebelettes, who were in last year's state tennis final four, are doing their best to make it back again this year. Signs for that are good, as they opened their year with a pair of big wins over Irwin County and Tift County.
Earlier this week, they defeated Irwin, who was state runner-up in Class A, 5-0. Coach Jarrett Luke said wins came from Lollie McMillan (6-1, 6-1), Madison Heath (6-2, 6-2), Logan Griffis (6-1, 6-1) and the doubles teams of Skyla Heath and Hana Gaskins (6-1, 6-1) and Lauren Harrell and Daryl Anne Boyd (6-2, 6-0).
Against Tift Thursday, the Rebelettes had a 4-1 victory. The combination of Harrell and Boyd (6-0, 6-1) and McMillan (6-0, 6-1) gave them an early 2-0 lead.
Luke said Tift took the third match on a tiebreaker to make it 2-1, then his squad got to work again.
Griffin trailed 5-2 in the first set, then rallied for five straight to win, 7-5. She took the second set, 6-4, which clinched the team win. Gaskins and Skyla Heath dropped their first set 6-0, then took the second 6-3 and after a long tiebreaker, won 7-4.
Luke said "we're playing tough schools to get us ready. We fought hard." Seven on his roster, he said, have varsity experience.
In junior varsity action against Irwin, Elizabeth White won 8-3 and the doubles team of Cortney Kegley and Nicole Phillips won 8-0. Against Tift, the JV won 3-1. Kegley won her match, 8-1, Phillips won 8-0 and Haley Nash won 8-3.
Their next competition is next Friday and Saturday at the Wildcat Invitational at Valdosta's McKey Park.