The Dubs took the Dub: Girls Tennis Team Makes History With First Ever State Title


Staff Photo

The Best of the Best: The Varsity Girls Tennis Team goes all the way, securing an inaugural state title in Rome, GA.

Our tennis warriors take the Dub! The North Atlanta Girls Tennis team has secured the state title. After months of practices, matches, and hard work, the Dubs have won a state tennis crown for the first time in NAHS history. 

The win on the part of an Atlanta Public Schools in a tennis championship was only the second time in history. The first time was four years ago by Drew Charter in the single A public school category. Far harder is for a school to win a state championship at the hyper-competitive 6A level.  

The team was led by six seniors, and the team captains were seniors Isabel Carter and Rebie Benedict. Many of the seniors have been court-dominant forces since their middle school years playing together. These members of the Class of 2022 were joined by two sophomores, Alexandra Kazamias and Samantha Fleming, who defied expectations with their athletic prowess. “Competing at the top with our superb seniors pushed me to evolve my own skills,” said Fleming. “The seniors strove for the championship title throughout their four years at NAHS, and once we got past our third round match-up, we knew this team had the potential to go all the way.”

The tennis season had a somewhat rocky start. Losing more than they expected to at the start of the season, the team struggled to showcase their talent. However, this only made their road to state that much more impressive. Last season, the girls tennis dubs suffered a devastating loss in the semi-finals. Left feeling disappointed and unsatisfied, our Dubs were determined to secure a different ending for this season. Their unmatched time, energy, effort, and hard work was the main contributor to their success at the State level. Another contributor to their success was the thoroughly thought out line-ups. “Once we figured out who would play with who, we really hit a stride as a team,” said Kazamias. “It really boosted everyone’s confidence and this was reflected on the court during matches.”

Kazamias and Fleming share fond memories of their successful season, appreciating the opportunity to bond with their upperclassman teammates. They recall an early in the season competition in LaGrange, Georgia as the perfect example of the strong connection across both all teams in the tennis program and all the different grade levels on the teams. “Both the guys and girls teams dominated at the competition,” said senior Evelyn Iwanicki. “This only further contributed to the bond that continued to strengthen as our wins added up.”

The turning point on the Lady Dubs road to state came in the third round of the five-round playoff tournament. On May 2, North Atlanta was playing Cambridge in the third round, and the Bears were the toughest opponent that they’d faced in the playoffs. Cambridge was the reigning state champion and in the last five years has been state champions five times. “The seniors came to play, and showed their competitors how to combine teamwork and superb tennis skills to secure a decisive win,” said Kazamias. “Once the win against Cambridge was in the books, our team was motivated by the rising likelihood of playing at State.”

Team coach Mike Hutchings, who has led Warrior tennis for the last seven years, said the clutch Cambridge win was the key to all following success. “That effectively sealed the deal for us,” said Hutchings, who has been the leader of the Dubs tennis program for seven years.

The coach pointed out that Centennial had been badly drubbed two times by Cambridge in the course of the regular season. “They probably figured that any team that was good enough to beat Cambridge was good enough to beat us,” Hutchings said. 

What a spectacular way for the seniors to end their tennis careers and what an accomplished reputation they are leaving behind. North Atlanta couldn’t be prouder of our tennis team and their outstanding season. The lady Dubs served up quite the victory, bringing glory to themselves and their school.