Co-Lin tennis team looks for strong showing at nationals
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Special to The Natchez Democrat
WESSON – Tyler (Texas) Junior College is the host for the
Men’s NJCAA National Tennis Tournament being held this week, and
Copiah-Lincoln’s men will be there as the runners-up of the State/NJCAA
Region 23 tournament.
The Wolfpack netters came within two points of capturing a
state/region championship, winning four of the nine individual
Co-Lin compiled 23 points to finish second behind Itawamba
with 25 points. Itawamba won only three titles.
Sophomore Jason Pierce paced the Wolves by picking up two individual
championships in No. 3 singles and with his partner freshman Mark
Caldwell in No. 2 doubles. Pierce came out smoking in his title
match crushing ICC’s Matt Robinson 6-1, 6-1.
He and Caldwell made it much more exciting in the doubles final,
saving four match points to win it 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
Sophomore Richard White of Natchez pulled out the No. 2 singles
final in another exciting hard-fought final.
White fell two service breaks down in the third set before
storming back to pull out the championship.
&uot;Richard showed us all a lot of courage and maturity by
hanging in for that big win. I’ve never had another player that
deserved to win so much,&uot; said coach Mike McIntyre.
Freshman Chad Smith dashed the hopes of a third ICC player
in the finals of No. 4 singles. .
&uot;All three of these guys owe a lot to Mark Caldwell, because
he played the No. 1 singles position throughout the season and
also the tournament. Mark is one of the toughest guys mentally
I’ve coached,&uot; McIntyre said.
Also picking up points at the state/regional tournament at
Jones was Steve Carter, a Natchez freshman, picking up a straight-sets
win over Scott Hill of Jones to make it to the semifinals. Although
unseeded in No. 1 doubles, White and Smith upset the second seeded
Meridian duo of Everett and Smith 7-5, 7-6 (No. 1 seed) to make
it to the semi-finals.
&uot;We came up a little short in No. 6 singles and No. 3
doubles. Natchez sophomore Ryan Wingfield would have been seeded
third in No. 6 singles, but the tournament committee decided to
seed only two players in that bracket, and as luck would have
it, Ryan drew the top-seed and eventual champion in the first
Copiah-Lincoln’s men will enter the national tournament with
the No. 2 team from Region 23. The Wolfpack’s only two losses
were to the top-ranked and undefeated Hinds.