Dickens team has one to go

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2000

The Dickens 6.5 Women’s Doubles Tennis Team has had an impressive run of success the last few years.

In 1998, the team won the Southwest District and made it to the semifinals of the State Tournament in Jackson.

In 1999, the team once again won the Southwest District and added the State Championship. In the Tri-State Tournament in Little Rock, the team made it to the finals before losing to a team from Arkansas.

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This year, despite the loss of two players from last year’s team – Augusta Smith and Mary Sawardecker – and with the addition of Kirby Watts, who is playing doubles tennis for the first time, the team has once again proved how good it is.

The Natchez women won the Southwest District and successfully defended the State Championship Nov. 19 when they beat a team from Hattiesburg in the finals.

Team coach Pat Dickens said it felt &uot;very exciting&uot; to defend the state championship.

&uot;We’re basically the same team we were last year,&uot; she said. &uot;All the women are very competitive. They’re good team players. They want to win. They’re probably the best-balanced team I’ve ever had.&uot;

&uot;It’s awesome to be the state champs, but we’re on a mission to be the Tri-State Champs,&uot; Peggy Mayberry said.

Now the back-to-back state champs will play at the Tri-State Tournament, which starts today and runs through Sunday at City Park in New Orleans.

The tournament will consist of two teams each from Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Members of the team said they feel good about their chances of winning the only tournament title that has eluded them.

&uot;If we don’t win, I want a manual recount,&uot; Deborah Bassi said.