By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The first round of the Class 6A state high school team tennis playoffs ended on a positive note this year for Tupelo.
The Golden Wave, opening-round losers last season, defeated Warren Central 7-0 at City Park courts in Tupelo to advance to Wednesday’s state quarterfinals match against rival Madison Central.
Casey Marshall’s 6-0, 6-0 win in girls singles against Maria Fiol was Tupelo’s first win of the day.
“Team tennis is exciting because every court matters,” said Marshall, a senior. “Every court you win, you’re one step closer to moving to the next round.”
Tupelo owns a 6-1 road victory against Madison Central already this season. However, Golden Wave coach Laurie Bishop isn’t concerned about her team being overconfident.
“We know to never make any assumptions about the outcome,” she said.
Marshall, who will remain at her singles spot, expects to see a different lineup when the Jaguars visit on Wednesday.
“You can change your lineup, so you never really know who you’re going to play,” she said. “We know Madison Central’s got a tough team.”
The state semifinals are scheduled for next week. The team championships for 6A will be played May 1 at the Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson.
Andrew Hildenbrand, a freshman, who joined Robert Thompson to defeat Warren Central’s Robert Rhett and Jesse Tillotson 6-3, 6-3, in boys No. 1 doubles, believes Tupelo has the lineup to advance deep in the playoffs.
“If we play smart, we can beat (Madison Central),” he said.
Boys singles: Sebastian Rios (THS)d. George Wilkerson 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 Boys doubles:Drew Ballard-Hogan Harrington (THS)d. Baxter Richardson-Sherman Stuart 6-2, 6-3.
Girls doubles: Emily Carter-Jessie Nabors (THS)d. Matlea Mobley-Hannah Register 6-2, 6-1; Ashley Williams-Sarah Hollingsworth (THS)d. Rachel Rhett-Avery Liddell 6-2, 6-2.
Mixed doubles: Kat Stratton-Mitch Ostrander (THS)d. Amanda Boleware-Joseph Jabour 6-0, 6-1.