The Manchester Academy tennis team opened its 2018 season on a beautiful Thursday afternoon in Yazoo City with a commanding 7-2 victory over Central Hinds Academy. The Mavs then traveled on Saturday to Vicksburg to participate in a five-team tournament and defeated Laurel Christian 5-4 and lost a nail-biter to rival St. Aloysius 4-5.
The Mavericks are a perennial powerhouse in academy tennis with a lot of hardware in their trophy case. Every year the team and players set their sights on winning championships. The Maverick girls’ tennis team tied St. Al last year at the State Tennis Championship and won state championships in 2015, 2012 and 2011. The Maverick boys finished 4th at State last year and won state championships in 2015 and 2014.
“It was great to start the season off with a win,” commented Maverick Coach Debbie Crisler. “We have a young team, especially our boys, but we have a lot of potential. We only graduated two players on last year’s team, but those two won a state championship at #1 girls’ doubles. Now, I want to see the next group win their own championships.”
Central Hinds Match
Senior Josie Coker led the Mavs with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Lexi Lomax at #1 girls’ singles. Coker, who made it to the state finals last year at #2 singles, set the tone for the team with her typical steady tennis with few errors and lots of hustle.
Senior Elizabeth Turner and Junior Mary Sibley McGraw played Annalise Rochelle and Anna Kate Shaw on the next court and cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory in #1 girls’ doubles. Turner and McGraw were also state tourney finalists a year ago and enter the season as one of the early favorites to capture a state championship.
In #1 boys’ doubles, the new team of sophomores Reid Bain and Matt Carroll defeated Stevie Ballard and Rick Lauderdale 6-3, 6-4 in a well-played match.
Junior Hayes Bardwell and sophomore Zach Haynes also played together for the first time and impressed the Maverick faithful by holding on for a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win over Ryan Tally and Gabe Carr at #2 boys’ doubles.
Meanwhile, senior Abbie Carroll and freshman Sophie Humphreys won their inaugural match together defeating Caila Hawkins and Kendall Lauderdale 6-2, 6-3 at #2 girls’ doubles.
Sophomore Monica Morrison had the most dominant win of the day at #2 girls’ singles with a 6-0, 6-0 wallop of Anastasia Creachel.
The Mavs suffered two losses with sophomore Upton Hitt losing a tough three-set match 2-6, 7-5, 10-8 to Taylor Cannon at #1 boys’ singles and the Maverick mixed doubles team of freshmen Ann Hampton Wells and Staten Greenlee lost 6-1, 6-1 to Chloe Barton and Zach Tally.
Laurel Christian Match
Against Laurel Christian, the Maverick girls won all of their matches while the Maverick boys lost all of their matches. The match came down to mixed doubles and the Maverick duo of Ann Hampton Wells and Staten Greenlee were able to bring home the team victory with an impressive effort.
In other matches against Laurel Christian, Josie Coker won 6-3, 6-1 at #1 girls’ singles and Monica Morrison won 6-2, 6-0 at #2 girls’ singles. In #1 girls’ doubles, Elizabeth Turner and Mary Sibley McGraw won 6-1, 6-0 and Abbie Carroll and Sophie Humphreys won 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at #2 girls’ doubles.
The Mavericks played the Jackson Prep “B” team on Monday and St. Aloysius on Tuesday. They play again on Thursday, April 5 in Yazoo City and on the road at Newton County Academy on April 6.