Green Wave players headed to state tennis finals

Published 11:29 am Monday, April 24, 2023

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NATCHEZ — After a successful outing at last week’s MAIS Class 5A South State Tournament in Vicksburg, seven members of Cathedral High School’s tennis team will travel to Ridgeland to compete in the Class 5A State Tournament at the Ridgeland Tennis Center.

Leading the way in singles’ competition for Cathedral is 10th-grader Alex Monagan in No. 1 boys’ singles. Green Wave tennis coach Beth Foster described his as “a phenomenal and dedicated player.” He is the defending state champion in the division.

“I hope he wins it again this year,” Foster said. “He hadn’t lost a match all year except for one in which he had to forfeit because of an injury to his shoulder.”

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Foster added that Monagan is out there practicing every chance he can get. Monagan will be the No. 1 seed out of State State and will take on the North State No. 2 seed from Pillow Academy.

The mixed doubles team of seniors Grayson Guedon and Huddy Lees also enter the state tournament as the South No. 1 seed and will face off with the North No. 2 seed. What makes this duo so unique is that this is the first time Foster teamed them up together and, as of now, they’re undefeated.

“They have worked really well together. They compliment each other. Huddy serves a backhand and Grayson serves a forehand,” Foster said. “One can calm the other down. Which is good because one can be emotional.”

Both of Cathedral’s girls’ doubles teams will also be playing at the state tournament. The No. 1 girls’ doubles of Natalie Smith and Lacy Welch will be the South No. 2 seed and will take on the North No. 1 seed. This is yet another team that Foster put together before the season started after each of them played in singles just a year ago.

“They played in No. 1 and No. 2 girls’ singles last year. This is the first time I’ve pulled them together and they played really good. The move proved to really strong,” Foster said. “They have lost two matches throughout the season. One of them was in South State and one was during the regular season.”

The No. 2 girls’ doubles team of Graci Gamberi and Bella Milligan will be the South No. 1 seed and will take on the North No. 2 seed. Foster said this is the only team that played together prior to this season.

“They played for me last year. They have last only one match all season,” Foster said.

As for how she feels about Cathedral’s chances of winning the Class 5A state title, Foster said, “I feel like they have a chance of taking it, all of them. Everyone knows as teenagers, somedays they’re on the right track and sometimes they’re not. Fingers crossed that they’re on the right track. 

“We’ve got to go in knowing we can win it and thinking we can win it. Tennis is a head game some days. Sometimes you can get down on yourself. Hopefully, we don’t do that.”