Trinity tennis program has banner year, wins boys MAIS title

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 16, 2016

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal tennis coach Noreen Pyron said she had high expectations for her boys and girls teams when they traveled Wednesday to Ridgeland to compete in the state championships.

Her squads exceeded those expectations.

Alongside girls No. 2 doubles state champion winners Hannah Fitt and McKenzie Smith, Cole Mosby and Grant Falkenheiner swept through the boys No. 1 and No. 2 divisions to help give the Saints the MAIS AA boys tennis crown. The girls squad took home a second-place finish on its side.

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“Trinity is blessed,” Pyron said. “They’ve had a strong tennis program for years, but this program has so many great kids, and it’s fun. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Trinity had strong showings throughout its lineup as Lucy Pyron and Tali Beard finished second in girls No. 1 doubles, and Hartley Pyron and Sam Mosby also finished second in boys No. 2 doubles.

The standout performances came a week after both squads claimed South State titles.

The win for the Fitt-Smith duo marked the second year in a row the Trinity combo has clinched the girls No. 2 state title.

“We work together really well,” Fitt said. “We pick each other up, and we’re never mad at each other, and I think that’s one of the reasons we’re always doing well.”

Cole won both of his matches 6-0, 6-0 to secure the boys No. 2 title for the second straight year.

“It’s just a great feeling knowing you put in the work, and it paid off in the long run,” Cole said. “To see other people on our team succeed and help us win overall is just a great feeling.”

Fitt said what she believes separated the Trinity program from others is the squad’s dedication to their craft.

“(Pyron) prepares us very well physically for our matches,” Fitt said. “We do drills. We don’t just come out here and play games. We work on our strokes, overheads and form in general.”

Smith added the close nature of the team with their head coach also has proven to be beneficial.

“(Pyron) has always been like my grandmother,” Smith said. “It makes it fun with her as a coach.”

Cole said what best prepared him to face competitors from other schools was having to go up against Falkenheiner every day in practice.

“We practically know each other’s game,” he said. “We know where we are going with the ball with our shots. It’s nice having somebody of that caliber to play with on a daily basis.”

Smith said she is proud of what both squads accomplished the year, and is hopeful they’ve set a strong standard that younger Trinity standouts can live up to and eventually surpass.

“Hopefully the younger kids will come up and take over and do just as well as we have done these last couple of years,” Smith said.

With Beard serving as the lone senior on both the girls and boys Trinity squads, Pyron said the future of the program remains in good hands.

“We’ll be stronger than ever next year,” Pyron said.