FLOWERY BRANCH — Coach Ginger Jackson refused to participate in any sort of actual or perceived jinxing of her Flowery Branch girls tennis team following Tuesday’s 5-0 whitewash of Wayne County in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
“I thought we played very well today but that’s all I want to think about right now,” Jackson responded when asked about her squad’s chances of making history after qualifying for just their third-ever quarterfinals.
One more win will push the Lady Falcons into the semifinals for the first time in program history.
“I just look at things one day at a time. Tomorrow is another day,” she said.
Well, tomorrow will actually arrive tomorrow as the Lady Falcons will take on Carrollton on Wednesday at the Flowery Branch Courts.
Both teams agreed to move up the match in anticipation of questionable weather for most of the rest of the week. The quarterfinal round must be completed by Saturday, according the Georgia High School Association. Flowery Branch is the No. 1 seed out of Region 8-AAAAA while Carrollton is the No. 2 seed out of Region 7-AAAAA. Carrollton knocked off Region 1-AAAAA champion Veterans on Tuesday as well.
Jackson said despite the quick turnaround of just over 24 hours, her Lady Falcons should be at full strength.
“Our match (today) only took about an hour so I don’t think we’ll have any issues of tired legs or anything. It shouldn’t be a factor,” Jackson said.
Senior Peyton Brick, part of the No. 1 doubles team along with Kylie McGuire that clinched the first point of the day Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-1 victory, said they are ready for whomever comes calling.
“It didn't matter to us who we play. Our focus is not on the opponent but on how we play,” Brick said. “We were excited about this match and I thought we played well. Not just me and Kylie but the whole team.”
Olivia Nance registered the next point moments later with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Alexis Scarborough at No. 3 singles and Olivia Correa defeated Madison Moxley 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 singles just moments after that for the clincher.
Sophomore No. 1 singles Annabelle Thomas beat Kelli Poppell 6-2, 6-1 and the No. 2 doubles of Marissa Barrett and Brenna Martin knocked off Mia Popkin and Kadie Moley 6-3, 6-2 to finish off the sweep.
The win for McGuire and Brick was especially nice since the team officially did not count in the scoring for in Flowery Branch’s first round win over Grady last week. Did that factor into their making quick work for the first point?
“Not really but we wanted to show people what we could do as a team,” Brick said.
While Jackson was trying to deflect any of the accolades that others were trying to throw their way, “I just don’t want to jinx anything right now,” she said, Brick was more than willing to give her assessment.
“This is a good team, singles and doubles,” she said. “I feel like this is the year and this is the team that can break through. But we know we’re going to have to play the best we ever have. We’re ready.”