Saints dominate in South State tourney

Published 12:02am Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NATCHEZ — The opening day of the MAIS Class A South State tennis tournament hosted at Duncan Park was successful for Trinity Episcopal Day School.

Trinity players will participate in every championship match except for No. 1 Boys Singles in which Turner Lessley had a tough battle with Tallulah Academy’s Mason Todd in the semifinals.

The finals matches start at 9 a.m. today at Duncan Park with Wilkinson County Christian Academy and Trinity facing off in both No. 1 Girls Doubles and No. 2 Girls Doubles.

In No. 1 Girls Doubles, Trinity’s Lucy Pyron and Marty Lewis will take on WCCA’s Jamie Lewis and Carmen Cavin. In the No. 2 matchup, Trinity’s Tali Beard and McKenzie Smith will battle Anna Claire Ryan and Sarah Robinson.

Trinity dominates the Girls Singles category as well with Mila Robb playing Carly Ward of Sylva Bay Academy for the No. 2 Singles championship and Alli Smith will take on Franklin Academy’s Ashton Armstrong.

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat Trinity Episcopal Day School’s Grant Falkenheiner prepares to hit the tennis ball back to his opponent as he and his No. 1 Boys Doubles partner Alex Miller advanced to the South State title game against Chamberlain Hunt Academy today.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat
Trinity Episcopal Day School’s Grant Falkenheiner prepares to hit the tennis ball back to his opponent as he and his No. 1 Boys Doubles partner Alex Miller advanced to the South State title game against Chamberlain Hunt Academy today.

For the Boys Doubles, Trinity’s Alex Miller and Grant Falkenheiner continue to dominate, the duo has not taken a loss through district and now into the South State tournament title game against Chamberlain-Hunt Academy’s Ryan Goodwin and William Wooten.

Miller said they had a tough third round match against Tallulah’s Taylor Antley and Brice Wood, but it made them buckle down and realize they must play to their full potential.

“We hadn’t lost any matches, but we knew we couldn’t get too cocky because upsets are bound to happen,” Miller said.

Falkenheiner saw the tough match as a good thing for him and his partner as they prepare for the finals.

“It’s better to have a tougher battle, that’s been our problem all year, we hadn’t had tough battles,” Falkenheiner said. “With all those games where we won by a lot, it helps us when it’s close because we get more practice time and more competition.”

Trinity head coach Noreen Pyron said the girls had a tough bout as well, but it showed their strength to pull through adversity and make it to the finals.

“They played Franklin Academy (in the No. 2 singles and No. 1 and 2 Doubles) who they beat easily earlier in the season, but I told them these teams are better than when you first played them just like you guys are better,” Pyron said.

Jacob Sandrock and Tucker Lewis will play for the No. 2 Doubles against Franklin Academy’s Clay Lewis and Cole Linder.

No. 2 Singles player Cole Mosby will match up against Chamberlain Hunt Academy’s Anthony Valdez in the finals today as well with the mixed double being the last event.

Alex Patel and Hannah Fitt will play Savannah Gaumnitz and Logan Rudd for Tallulah Academy.

Though every Trinity and WCCA player who made it to the finals are guaranteed a trip to the state tournament next week, Pyron said today’s battle is all about seeding.

Whoever wins today, goes into the tournament as the No. 1 seed from the south.