By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – On this day, when it counted most, No. 2 was better than No. 1.
Oxford’s No. 2 boys doubles team of Will Swindoll and Baxter Elliott defeated the Chargers’ No. 1 doubles team of Robert Nance and Andrew Mullin 6-2, 6-3 Tuesday to win the Class 5A state championship at the Ridgeland Tennis Center.
“We just played better today,” said Elliott, a junior. “Will and I haven’t played together that much. We’ve just started to jell.”
Nance, a junior, and Mullin, a senior, won a state doubles championship two years ago as a No. 2 team.
“To be frank, we didn’t play that well,” Mullin said. “I’m happy for them.”
Swindoll, an eighth grader, played doubles for part of the season with teammate Quinn Elliott, who lost in the singles championship match to Ridgeland’s Cullen McDonough, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
“We needed Quinn to play singles,” Swindoll said of the change. “Baxter and I play more alike. Even though we’ve only played together about eight times this season, we usually play well.”
Oxford (5A), New Albany (4A) and Mooreville (3A) play today for team state championships.
Corinth, which usually competes for a team title, had two individual state champions in 4A singles – seniors Catherine Coleman and Austin McElwain.
Coleman, who won the 3A state title last season, defeated defending 4A champion Jordan Roberts of Shannon 6-4, 6-1. Roberts led in the first set, 4-1.
“I was trying to hit winners right off the bat,” Coleman said of her sluggish start. “I had to be patient. I finally got comfortable and in my zone.”
McElwain beat Richland’s Marcus Creese 6-1, 6-0 for his first state championship.
“I played my game,” he said. “I served, volleyed … remained calm.”
LAFAYETTE WINS TWO
Lafayette won two state titles in 4A girls doubles and mixed doubles.
Lauren Cullen and Ashley Smith beat New Albany’s Molly Morris and Elleigh Hall 6-4, 6-4 while Malory Davis and Barron Pruit defeated West Lauderdale’s Jordyn Hull and Chris Mallette 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in mixed doubles.
In other finals involving Northeast Mississippi teams, Starkville’s Emily Turner and Hannah Laird defeated Oxford’s Kara Rose and Embrey Inman 6-1, 6-1 in 5A girls doubles.
Also, Oxford’s Cari Hansen and Judson Watson lost to Stone County’s Beth Owen and Josh Johnson 7-5, 6-3 in 5A mixed doubles.