The Manchester Academy tennis team won the boys’ and girls’ AA North State championships on Monday in Greenville and will play at the state tournament on Wednesday in Ridgeland.
The Maverick boys overwhelmed their competition with 8 points to runner-up St. Joe’s 4 points, Oak Hill’s 1 point and Tri County’s ½ point. The M.A. girls edged St. Joe 6-5 with Winona Christian and Marshall Academy with 1 point each and Tri County with ½ point.
Under the coaching of Debbie Crisler and Yvette Cook, the Maverick girls have won the North State title 5 of the last 7 years, while the M.A. boys have won North State 3 of the last 5 years.
The Maverick girls’ team was dealt a blow when Mary Sibley McGraw’s injury at last week’s conference tournament prevented her from being able to play at North State forcing McGraw and her partner Elizabeth Turner to forfeit at #1 doubles. The Maverick girls held a narrow 3.5 to 3.0 advantage over St. Joe after the semi-final matches, but Josie Coker and Monica Morrison put the North State girls’ team championship out of St. Joe’s reach when they easily defeated their opponents in the girls’ singles finals.
“This is the first time in school history that the entire team (other than the forfeit due to injury) made it to State,” commented Maverick Coach Debbie Crisler. “Josie Coker, Monica Morrison and the boys’ doubles team of Matt Carroll and Will Peeler had a very strong showing at North State winning an amazing 72 of the 77 games they played.”
“This entire team plays with such heart that I always feel like each position has a chance to win,” added Crisler. “They just keep fighting and refuse to lose. Hayes Bardwell and Zach Haynes showed that sort of resilience when they stormed back after losing the first set to a young pair of players from Oak Hill and won the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Staten Greenlee and our mixed doubles team of Reid Bain and Ann Hampton Wells both persevered through tough three-set matches to win North State Championships.”
Senior Josie Coker is 13-0 on the season and faced a tough opponent in the finals, but made it look easy in her 6-0, 6-1 win. “North State was a good tournament, and we did well,” said Coker. “I’m excited to play different people at State and am ready for any challenge that may come my way!”
Coker commented on her teammates Elizabeth Turner and Mary Sibley McGraw ending their season due to injury when they appeared on a path to a state championship in #1 doubles. ”They are awesome, and we wish they could compete at State, but we’re planning on winning it for them!”
The Mavericks will travel to Ridgeland on Wednesday morning, May 9 to play for the AA State Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis Championships. The Maverick girls tied St. Al last year for first place at the AAA State Championships and the Maverick boys finished 4th at State.
North State Semi-Finals
Josie Coker (MA) def. Bella Roberts (Winona Christian) 6-1, 6-0
Monica Morrison (MA) def. Allie Rawles (WC) 6-0, 6-0
Upton Hitt (MA) def. Logan Graham (WC) 6-0, 6-1
Staten Greenlee (MA) def. Braden Stanford (WC) 6-0, 6-0
Hope Farmer and Rana Davis (WC) def. Elizabeth Turner and Mary Sibley McGraw by forfeit
Abbie Carroll and Sophie Humphreys (MA) def. Autumn Lishman and Swayze Marquerdt (WC) 6-2, 6-0
Matt Carroll and Will Peeler (MA) def. Deuce Mooneyham and Reese Johnson (WC) 6-0, 6-0