By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Mooreville is headed back to Ridgeland to play for a state championship in team tennis for a second straight season and it took a team effort to do so.
The Troopers rallied from an early deficit Thursday to defeat Alcorn Central 5-2 in the MHSAA Class 3A North finals.
“This is amazing; it feels great,” Mooreville senior Dylan Lewis said as his teammates celebrated on the court. “This has been our tennis team for seven years.”
Lewis kept his team alive with a comeback win over Central’s Brendan Jobe 2-6, 6-2 (10-6) early in the match.
The Troopers’ No. 2 girls doubles team of Myriam Sanders and Danielle Tunnell defeated Central’s Abbey Hollowell and Alley Hughes 6-4, 6-1 to clinch the crucial fourth court.
“Somebody told us we needed to win. I got mad; I didn’t want to know,” Sanders said, then smiled.
Mooreville’s mixed doubles team of Shelby Miller and Adam Pierce rallied from a 6-0 loss in the first set to beat Central’s Kaitly Miller and David Hollowell 6-4 (10-8).
Mooreville (13-2) will play the South champion Wednesday in Ridgeland for the state title.
Alcorn Central’s unbeaten brothers Reid and Jacob Price rallied from a first-set loss to defeat Kelton Kingsley and Robert Jones 2-6, 6-1 (10-4) in boys No. 1 doubles.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d win after that first set,” said Reid Price, a senior.
In boys No. 2 doubles, Mooreville’s Zach Shumpert and Jay West downed Central’s Dustin Parker and John Works 7-5 in the first set, then captured the match when Works hurt his knee and couldn’t continue.
In girls singles, Central’s Anna Bowling defeated Mooreville’s Bailey Gillentine 6-1, 6-2. The Troopers’ Kacey Byrd and Madison Scott beat Ally Grady and Meridith Murphy 6-2, 6-2 in No. 1 girls doubles.