Northeast tennis upsets nationally-ranked Hinds

By NEMCC Media Relations

BOONEVILLE, Miss. – Northeast Mississippi Community College’s tennis teams served notice to the rest of the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) during the first weekend of action for the Tiger and Lady Tiger tennis teams.

Afterdropping its season-opening match to Copiah-Lincoln on Thursday, February 16, Northeast upset nationally-ranked Hinds Community College a day later and picked up its first win of the year.

Lynn Smither’s Lady Tigers improved from an 8-0 loss to Copiah-Lincoln on Thursday, February 16 to knock off the nation’s twenty-fifth ranked team less than 24 hours later.

Smither and company shocked the Lady Eagles 5-4 in Raymond on Friday, February 17.

“I give credit to my players really playing hard and working hard as individuals and as a team,” Smither said. “They played really well in both matches.”

While Hinds captured the top-tier matches, Northeast was able to take the rest of the matches and the overall match with the Lady Eagles.

Northeast captured the third-, fifth- and sixth-seeded singles matches with Amanda Rorie, Elizabeth Mitchell and Leighann Mock all taking respective victories.

Roriecaptured her singles match 7-6, which went to a 10-2 tiebreaker, before sporting a 6-2 second set for the win. Mitchell turned in an identical 6-2, 6-2 decision and Mock walked away with a 7-5, 6-1 win.

Northeast secured the match by taking the majority of the doubles matches. Rorie teamed with Emily Burk to win the second-seeded doubles match 8-3 while Mitchell and Mock picked up an 8-0 win in the third-seeded match.

Hinds was able to take the top two singles matches as Natasha Grytsiak knocked off Moncia Pruitt 6-0, 6-1 and Mayer dispatched Burk 7-5, 6-2 in addition to the fourth-seeded singles match that saw Hinds take a 7-5, 4-7, 10-8 decision against Marcey Sykes.

“I had several that were sick and injured but they showed that they are true athletes and they fought through their illnesses and pain,” Smither said. “Each one did great job and I am very proud of each of them.”

On the men’s side, the Tigers made it a clean sweep of Hinds when Northeast dispatched the Eagles 6-3.

Just like the women’s matches, Hinds captured the top-tier matches with Yevheniy Horbik and Max Gunbin taking first- and second-seeded singles over Duncan Schafer and Preston Wade and a doubles’ match against Taylor Dees and Wade but Northeast was able to knock off the Eagles by capturing the next six contests.

Ben Nhek cleared the third-seeded singles event with an identical 6-3, 6-3 while Brandon Gardner helped the Tigers with a 6-0, 6-2 decision in the fourth-seeded men’s singles event.

Dees aided the Tigers with a 7-5, 6-3 decision in his fifth-seeded singles match whileNhek and Gardner cleared the second-seeded doubles match 8-2.

Northeast was also able to pick up a pair of decisions when Hinds was not able to field a complete lineup defaulting at the sixth-seeded singles and third-rated doubles event.

Just a day earlier, the Tiger tennis team had pushed Copiah-Lincoln to the breaking point in a 5-4 march in Wesson with Nhek and Gardner taking singles matches against the Wolves 6-2, 6-1 and 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 while the duo won their second-seeded doubles match 8-5.

Dees and Wade turned in Northeast’s fourth win of the match when the duo knocked off Gibson Britt and Mark Ladd 8-5 in their doubles match as well.

Northeast will look to build on the momentum of the Hinds sweep when the Tigers and Lady Tigers host Bethel University at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21.

Northeast will continue its three-match homestand as the Tigers and Lady Tigers when Northeast hosts Meridian at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 24 and Mississippi Gulf Coast at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 25.