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St. Pius girls dominate for state championship
by Matt Nascone
mnascone@neighbornewspapers.com
May 24, 2012 03:48 PM | 490 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Seniors Katie Bachman, left, and Ansley Jones are two members of the state champion St. Pius X girls’ tennis team.
Seniors Katie Bachman, left, and Ansley Jones are two members of the state champion St. Pius X girls’ tennis team.
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In points that mattered, the St. Pius X girls’ tennis team swept through the competition en route to a Class AAA state championship May 12.

The Lady Golden Lions dropped one meaningful point in Class AAA competition all season.

GACA Coaches Class AAA No. 2 Pius won 5-0 in the first round over Central, 3-0 over Cartersville in the second round, 3-2 over North Atlanta in the quarterfinals, 3-0 over No. 6 West Laurens in the semifinals and 3-0 over No. 1 Allatoona in the finals.

“We had more experience than anyone else,” Pius coach Lianna Jones said. “We had two strong doubles teams and lots of girls who could score points in singles. We were strong at every position and that is rare in tennis.”

During the regular season, Pius lost one point to Woodward Academy and one point to Gainesville, but that was it during AAA play.

Jones said the two points lost to North Atlanta came after Pius clinched the match with a 3-0 lead, but North Atlanta wanted to play the match out.

Jones said the duo of seniors Katie Bachman and Ansley Jones led the team all season and the state tournament was more of the same.

Jones said Bachman and Jones were part of the ‘09 state team, but did not play. She said both girls were excited to get a state title while a part of the starting lineup.

“Everyone was focused this year and we got it,” Jones said. “It was the goal at the beginning of the season after that tough loss last year. They went for that goal and never looked back.”

Jones said Pius was the only team in the Final Four that had been to the Final Four in the past. The team has been to the Final Four the past four seasons. The Lady Lions lost in the finals last season, but won the title in 2009.

“Our main message to the girls was to stay focused,” Jones said. “We felt like the dominant team, but we had never played any of the Final Four teams, so we needed to let them know that anything can happen when that is the case.”
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