FLOWERY BRANCH — Ginger Jackson knew her Flowery Branch girls tennis team wrapped another successful season on Wednesday, adding another impressive chapter to a budding power.
But that still couldn't stop the coach from wincing just a little bit at the thought of what might have been.
"You can't be disappointed with making it to the Elite Eight," Jackson said after watching her Lady Falcons fall to Carrollton in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals, 3-0. "But we had the opportunity to move on and just couldn't capitalize on it."
That they could not was down to an impressive performance from the visiting Lady Trojans, who picked off straight sets wins in Nos. 1 and 3 singles and at No. 1 doubles to clinch a spot in the semifinals.
"It just wasn't our day; we got beat by the better team today," Jackson said. "We played well at times, but Carrollton is a good, solid team, and they played really well all day.
"We'll reload net year and hope we have the opportunity to do it again."
The future certainly looks bright for the Lady Falcons who, while graduating three starters, return all three singles players and will add some talented newcomers to a team that is growing used to high-level success. Flowery Branch made its third straight quarterfinal appearance on Tuesday, and it's a safe bet that singles players Annabelle Thomas (No. 1, currently a sophomore), Olivia Correa (No. 2, junior) and Olivia Nance (No. 3, freshman) will absorb key lessons from the run.
"The program is in good shape," said Jackson, who also praised her seniors, including No. 1 doubles teammates Peyton Brick and Kylie McGuire, as well as No. 2 doubles starter Marissa Barrett. "Those girls have been with me a long time and won a lot of big matches. We're going to miss them."
Carrollton clinched the victory with a 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles, followed by a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles, with the No. 1 doubles team clinching victory 6-4, 6-3.