NHS’ Clark wins at state tennis tournament

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

By: Skylar Wolfe

JACKSON — For the first time in her three years of playing tennis at the MHSAA Class 5A State Tournament, Natchez High School sophomore Kirdis Clark finally broke through the first round wall.

After losing in doubles in her first year, then in singles the next, she moved on to the second round of this year’s tournament in convincing fashion.

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Clark defeated the No. 5 seed in 5A from Stone County, winning in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

“She was more focused this year,” assistant tennis coach Katrina McNeal said, “She just really wanted to make it out of the first round this year. She was poised and used her lateral movements very well, getting from line to line quickly.”

With this being Clark’s first time advancing past the first round, it serves as a milestone for her hard work and determination. Clark’s new-found success wasn’t just from her skills, though.

“She found her opponents weakness today,” McNeal said. “(Her opponent) was having a hard time running up and catching the soft shots she was hitting.”

Clark will be playing again today at 1:30 p.m. against the No. 4 seed from Germantown.

She will be joined by first time state representative eighth-grader Danyel Weir, who will be playing mixed doubles with Vincent Bonds today at 11 a.m.

McNeal said communication will be the key for Weir.

“She knows that at this level, everyone is going to be able to hit well,” McNeal said. “She will have to have good communication with her partner throughout the match to have success.”