Local tennis team claims top honors in Mississippi tournament

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 30, 2017

With a group of players comprised from the surrounding area, the women’s 55-and-older Southwest Mississippi tennis team perhaps found just the right mix.

On the weekend of May 19-21, the team of eight traveled to Tupelo to take part in the USTA League Adult 55-and-Over State Championship, with the local team capturing the title.

“We like playing tennis, competing and winning,” team captain Susan Reed said. “We have players that are real competitive, that want to win and have a never give up attitude.”

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With the state championship in tow, the team will now set their sights on the USTA League 55 Southern Sectionals in North Carolina.

The team competes in the 3.0 division, and not only won the state championship, but did so in more than impressive fashion.

The doubles team of Reed and Libby Ford defeated a duo from Northeast Mississippi to give their team a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three tournament format.

Reed and Ford then sat on the sideline, anxiously watching the other two matches, and to Reed’s pleasure, her teammates pulled out victories.

“Annie (Pierce) and Chris (Smith) had to work hard to win,” Reed said. “Adele (Hazing) and Jo (Boutwell) did, too. It could have gone either way. As soon as we won on another court, we knew we had won state, and it was just real exciting.”

The team is made up of players from Natchez, Vidalia, Ferriday, Jonesville, and Wildsville. Other team members include Judy Quimby and Pam Riggs.

Reed said the team attempts to get together and practice at Vidalia Tennis Court and Duncan Park on occasion, but plan to ramp up the sessions as they prepare for the sectionals that are set to take place between Sept. 15-17 in Ashville, N.C.

“We don’t have a set practice, but we do get together and play,” Reed said. “We had several team practices preparing for state.”

Reed said her squad will face teams from Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

“We’re just real excited about sectionals and I anticipate us doing well,” she said. “We have a good, strong team and we’re real competitive and never give up attitude.”