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Junior tennis players travel to midstate to compete for regional advancement

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After five days of competition in Macon, Georgia, only the finals and playoff matches remained in both singles and doubles of the Level 3 USTA Georgia State Jr. Closed Qualifying Championships. Rain delayed play during several times on several days.

Suwanee resident, No. 4 seed, Harvey Maughan defeated Atlanta player, and third seed, Tyler Stice, in three sets, 2-6; 6-4; 6-2

Maughan, who puts in around five hours a day of practice said of his first set loss, “He was mas making a lot of balls, hitting them deep and I was making too many errors.”

He knew he had to pick up his game and pick up his focus if he wanted to win the match. “I felt like my serve was on,” he said. “I have very good variety on it and he didn’t really know where I was going with it and kept him guessing, said the 14 year old, who only dropped three sets the entire tournament.

“He kept the balls deep and kept the pressure on me to win the point. He never lost any points. I had to win them.”

Maughan, whose favorite shot to hit is the volley, also made it to the finals in the doubles draw. He and partner, Britton Johnston from Snellville, Ga. lost to opponents, Marietta, Ga. resident, Andrew Branick and Tyler Stice 3-8,

Nutrition is a factor pasta bananas, chocolate milk after matches, peanut butter for protein…

He kept the balls deep and kept the pressure on me to win the point. He never lost any points. I had to win them.”

In Girls 14’s, No. 1 seed, Nicole Stephens, a 13 year old from Marietta never dropped as she worked her way to the finals where she beat Hanna Giddings of Alpharetta, 6-3; 6-2.

“My quarterfinals match may have been my toughtest,” Stephens explained. “We’re old friends,” she said. “She played so well during the first set. In the second set, I loosened up and took advantage.” Stephens worked hard at taking the ball on the rise, at moving her opponents around and capitalizing on the short balls.

“The rain delay actually helped me,” said Stephens. “I was down 1-4 and the delay gave me an opportunity to evaluate my game.”

Chloe Beck and doubles partner, AnneMarie Hiser defeated Stephens and her doubles partner, Hannah Hutchings of Woodstock, 8-6.

All seeded players advance to Southern events.

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