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

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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.