Local teams fare well in tourney

Published 1:06 am Thursday, May 1, 2008

NATCHEZ — The MPSA Class A South State Tournament wrapped up Wednesday at Duncan Park, with players from area schools taking home first place in three different events.

Tanner McGraw and Chris Houghton took first place in No. 2 boys doubles while Huntington’s mixed doubles team of Julie Moak and Seth Swilley were champions in that event.

Tensas Academy also had a winner, as Jordan Leake and Ish Crigler won in No. 1 girls doubles.

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In addition to those three teams, several other local players will advance to the State Tournament, as both winners and runner-ups in each event advance.

Huntington’s No. 2 girls doubles team of Abbey Ashmore and Allie Booth made the finals, as did WCCA’s No. 1 boys doubles team of Eli Whitaker and J. Harvey. Luke Whitaker of WCCA also advanced to the State Tournament by making the finals in No. 2 boys singles.

In addition to the individual awards, Huntington finished second as a team on the girls side while WCCA was second in the boys event.

Tournament director and Huntington coach Emily Guida was very pleased with the way the tournament went.

“It was a great tournament,” Guida said. “We had so many people helping and cooperating. The play was excellent and everyone was sportsmanlike. It couldn’t have been a better tournament.”

Guida said the tournament went according to the seeds, with few upsets.

“The seeding pretty much held up throughout the tournament,” Guida said. “Everyone played excellent tennis and had a great time.”

Guida was also proud of her team, especially mixed doubles winners Moak and Swilley and girls doubles runner-ups Ashmore and Fontenot.

“Seth Swilley has been on the team throughout his high school career and this is the first time he has gone to state,” she said. “I’m very happy for him. This is Julie’s first year to play mixed doubles. They make a good, strong pair.”

Guida said the strong play of the girls doubles team of Ashmore and Fontenot surprised everyone.

“That is a wonderful surprise for us,” she said. “They are just in the eighth grade and this is the first year they’ve played tennis together. They have amazing potential. We’re very much looking forward to going to state.”

The State Tournament is May 7 at Mississippi College in Clinton.