STONE MOUNTAIN - Their methods of victory on Tuesday were different, but the Region 8-AAAAA boys and girls tennis champions had one thing in common - redemption.
Both the Brookwood girls and the Parkview boys avenged losses from earlier in the season in the title matches, with the Broncos beating Grayson for the girls title and the Panthers beating Brookwood in the boys final. Both winning teams had lost to their finals opponent 3-2 in the regular season.
Brookwood won its third straight girls region title in a hurry, quickly dispatching of Grayson 3-0 behind a revamped lineup. The Broncos also were up a set in the other two matches when play was halted after they clinched the crown.
"Oh definitely (the earlier loss to Grayson) was motivation," said Brookwood senior Paige Ivey, who missed the regular-season loss to the Rams. "We all felt like we wanted to show them what we had. There was definitely some incentive there and it definitely sparked a little rivalry. Normally you hear about the Brookwood-Parkview rivalry, but it definitely sparked a new rivalry. They brought their game. It was a high level of tennis."
The boys final took much longer to decide before Parkview won a down-to-the-wire thriller 3-2 over Brookwood. It was the second title in a row for the Panthers, who won region in 1976 in boys tennis and didn't win it again until last year.
With the match deadlocked 2-2, the Panthers' No. 2 doubles team of Kyle Stanton and Jason Bennett won the clincher 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 over the Broncos' Matt Dreher and Brace Becknell. The victory also was a bit of personal redemption for Stanton, who lost to Dreher and Becknell in straight sets earlier in the season with a different partner.
"Once we won, it was amazing," Stanton said. "But I was nervous during the third set, just trying to hit it over the net."
Parkview's Nathan Kloes beat Brookwood's Richard Eastwood 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles and the Panthers' Ryan Baker won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles for a 2-0 edge. But the Broncos evened the boys final, first with a 6-2, 6-0 win by Alex Runnels over Parkview's Brandon Patrick at No. 3 singles.
Brookwood's No. 1 doubles team of Todd Hanner and Joey Kosciolek tied the match later in the afternoon by beating William Dove and Joseph Najjar, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
All the attention then turned to No. 2 doubles, where Parkview picked up a huge win from Stanton and Bennett.
"I've got some tough seniors and they worked hard all season, and I wanted to see them do the back-to-back titles thing," Parkview boys coach Terry Cotton said. "They deserved it. They're a tough team to beat. The seniors definitely deserved it."
Brookwood's girls clinched their region crown long before the Parkview boys. The Broncos avenged their only regular-season loss by winning No. 1 and No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.
Dana Guentert beat Grayson's Sonia Anand 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 and teammate Courtney McLane dominated the Rams' Lindsay Murano 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2. Ivey and Lindsey Peyton secured the 3-0 Brookwood victory by defeating Brittany Lewis and Whitley Lewis 6-0, 6-4.
At No. 3 singles, Brookwood's Stephanie Hedlund was up one set, as were teammates Katie Williams and Nicole Hernandez at No. 2 doubles.
"This one was sweet because we had lost in the regular season," Brookwood girls coach Angie McLane said. "We felt like we wanted to show them what we could really do and come back and sort of get revenge."