Trinity’s mixed doubles endure heat, falls in South State semis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

For Trinity Episcopal tennis’ mixed doubles pair Mark McGraw and Ali Fury, their matches have typically lasted 30 minutes this season.

But on Wednesday afternoon at the MAIS Class A South State Tennis Tournament at Duncan Park, their quarterfinal match against Tallulah Academy wasn’t the normal 30 minutes. It was four times longer.

“We had a two-hour match,” Fury said. “It is definitely the longest match we have had this year.”

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McGraw and Fury described the match as grueling, tiring and intense. However, they prevailed in three sets — losing the first 8-10, then winning the second and third, 6-0 and 10-4.

The reason why McGraw and Fury played a two-hour match was the first set.

Both teams were back and forth in the first. McGraw and Fury would claim a point to go up by one, but Tallulah Academy would respond to tie the set up once again. Neither team could get the coveted two-point lead to claim the set.

“I was worried about it,” Fury said. “We were exhausted and it was hard to lose like that.

“There were some points that we couldn’t get to, which was nerve-racking.”

Yet, McGraw and Fury came together in the second and third sets. They both said they cleared their heads and became more focused. Yet, more importantly, they started to communicate better, they said.

McGraw and Fury started to call out who had the ball. If the ball came to the back of the court McGraw would hit it and if the ball was in the front, it would be Fury’s.

The tactic helped the pair shift the momentum and take the match by storm. The two didn’t let up a single point in the second and won the third set, which is a ten-point tiebreaker, with relative ease.

“It definitely helped get rid of our nerves,” McGraw said.

While the pair was all smiles after the quarterfinals, the wear and tear of the match caught up to them in their semifinal match against Wilkinson County Christian Academy. However, they were happy with their overall performance.

“I’m pumped,” Fury said.

“We played good today,” McGraw added.