JONESBORO, GA. — When the final point had been scored, Richmond Academy’s Kyla Price took a few steps toward the fence and collapsed into the green wind screen. The freshman had nothing else to give, either physically or emotionally.
Price had fought through a grueling match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes, eventually losing to Allatoona’s Kennedy Craig 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the No. 1 singles match between the two teams at the Clayton County International Park Tennis Center.
The loss tilted the team match in favor of Allatoona, a 3-2 decision that eliminated the Musketeers in the Georgia High School Association Class AAA semifinals on Saturday.
Thus ended the most successful tennis season in Richmond Academy history. Never before had the girls team reached the Final Four. But with three freshmen in this year’s starting lineup, chances are good that coach Kim White’s team will be back again.
It was the first loss of the season for Price, a freshman, who had a 3-0 lead in the final set before Craig mounted a comeback. Price began suffering leg and foot cramps after the second set and at one time removed her shoe and began to massage her foot.
Richmond Academy won at No. 2 singles behind freshman Hollis Sherman and No. 3 singles behind senior Jayla Scott. Both players completed their season with unbeaten records. Sherman beat Olivia Howe 6-2, 7-5 and Scott quickly disposed of Haley Proctor 6-0, 6-0.
Richmond Academy had no luck in doubles, which ended up being quite costly. The No. 1 team of Anna Brown and Caroline Haynes lost 6-0, 6-1 to Allatoona’s Caitlin Shannon and Allison Whitley. The No. 2 team of McCall Chambers and Tyla McCray was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Kristy Lee and Melanie Whitley.
White said her team might have suffered from some nerves, since it was moving into new territory.
“Everybody played well and everybody played with determination,” White said. “We just had some things that went the other way.”
St. Pius X went on to win the state championship.
The Golden Lions earned their first title since 2009 by beating Allatoona 3-0 in the final match.