Fall Festival tennis tourney brings out crowd

Published 12:01 am Sunday, October 12, 2014

Even though it is mid-October, it felt more like summer throughout the day Saturday during the adult division doubles matches at the 2014 Cathedral Fall Festival Tennis Tournament at Duncan Park.

Tournament co-chairman Mark Carter, who also played in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles matches, said that he was pleased with the turnout for this year’s event, despite it being yet another big weekend for college football in the Magnolia State.

“In fall, with all the (college) football games, it’s hard to pick a good weekend,” Carter said. “We had 54 participants for the adult division matches. We’ll have 17 teams in three divisions (for Sunday’s adult/junior doubles matches).”

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Some of the players who had time off between matches even watched the Auburn-Mississippi State game on a big-screen television. As one would expect, those people were loudly and proudly cheering on the Bulldogs.

Among those teams who won at least one match was the brother tandem of Lee and Joe Smith, who are the top-seeded team in the men’s division. Lee now lives in Jackson while Joe still calls Natchez home.

In one of their earlier matches of the day, they defeated Tate Hobdy and Matt Brough, 6-2, 6-2.

“It was a tough match with good friends,” Lee said. “They played some long points.”

“They’re consistent players with good serves. They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Joe said.

Both Lee and Joe said this is their second time playing in the tournament, but the first time each participated several years ago, they had different playing partners.

Marcie Carlton and Brandi Garrity won the championship in the women’s 2.5 division. First, they defeated Maggie Brough and Abby Brown, 6-4, 6-2. Then they got by Penny Daggett and Andre Gamberi, 6-2, 6-4 to finish in first place.

Daggett and Gamberi ended up in second place thanks to their win over Brough and Brown Friday night, while Brough and Brown came in third place.

As for how the players have been able to deal with the unseasonably warm and humid weather, Carter said, “I think everybody’s hydrating good. We have a little breeze hear and there. And some shade.”

While a few of the adult doubles matches did not start until 4 p.m., at least one of those matches will take place at 11:30 a.m. today.

The adult/junior doubles matches will get under way today at 1 p.m., weather permitting. There is a 50 percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms in the forecast.

“This will be the second year for it. Last year was real positive,” Carter said.