State’s top tennis teams try again today

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

The weather-delayed MHSAA Tennis Championships are scheduled to begin today with the finals in the team competition.
Defending state champions New Albany (4A) and Oxford (5A), along with 2012 state finalist, Mooreville (3A), are scheduled to play at 9 a.m. at Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson and Ridgeland Tennis Center.
The championship pairings are: New Albany vs. St. Stanislaus, Oxford vs. Stone County and Mooreville vs. St. Andrew’s.
A win would give Oxford its sixth consecutive state tennis title.
Play for individual state championships in boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles is scheduled to begin this afternoon and run through Thursday’s finals.
Rain halted the tournament twice last week – Wednesday and Friday. All three area teams made the long trip last Friday to Jackson only to see play postponed soon after they arrived.
“It’s been frustrating,” Mooreville senior boys singles player Dylan Lewis said. “We drove all the way down there and didn’t get to play.”
New Albany coach Warner Creekmore says while it was disappointing to drive down and not play, there was one positive in the delay for her team.
Time to recover
“With some of the injuries to players we’ve had, it gave us another five days to recover,” she said.
Mooreville coach Kristy Rowland said her players were “hyped up and excited” about playing. “The kids are still positive,” she said. “They were disappointed that we couldn’t play.”
The Troopers have continued to practice for their match against the five-time state champions.
“They will be a tough team to beat,” Rowland said. “We only won one court (6-1) when we played them last year.”
New Albany spent its extra time practicing, too.
“We’ve been trying to keep the players mentally and physically focused,” Creekmore said. “That’s tough to do at the end of school. We should be done, but we’re not.”
gene.phelps@journalinc.com