New Albany is heading back to Jackson to defend its state title in 4A tennis after the Bulldogs earned a 5-2 win at Pontotoc in the north half finals on Thursday.
New Albany picked up wins in girls’ doubles one and two, boys’ singles and boys’ doubles number two to clinch the north half title. The Bulldogs closed out the match, winning in girls’ number one singles and falling in boys’ number one doubles and in mixed doubles.
“We’ve had a lot of setbacks this season, and it’s been tough,” New Albany coach Warner Creekmore said. “We have a strong team, and it proves we have depth given how far we’ve made it given our setbacks. We’re thrilled to be going back to Jackson.”
New Albany boasts several young players, with Katie Davis and Meghan Van playing in the number two girls’ doubles spot. Along with Michael Crotts and Christopher Shands, those are four freshman, and the youngest member of this year’s varsity team is Morris Kelly Clayton, playing as a seventh grader.
Clayton picked up a win at the girls’ number one singles position, defeating Pontotoc’s Sarah Hill, 7-5, 6-3, while the doubles team of Davis and Van defeated Pontotoc’s Ali Warren and Meredith Adam, 6-4, 6-0.
Crotts and doubles partner Parker Nail defeated the number two boys’ doubles team of Chet Wilson and Brayden Timmons, 6-2, 6-2, and Shands is currently playing for the injured Christopher Scott and paired with Christian Scott in the number one doubles spot. The duo fell to Jacob Ferguson and Austin Anderson, 6-2, 6-4.
Other wins for New Albany: Mark Robbins over Ryan Henry, 6-0, 6-4 in boys’ singles and Hannah Anderson/Olivia Dunnam over Ivy Robbins/Kristen Pennington, 6-1, 6-1. The mixed doubles team of Walter Smith and Darby Mills fell to Piercen Burchfield and Anna Rosenbaum, 7-6, 0-6, TB (10-4).
New Albany will travel to Jackson next Wednesday for the 4A state championship, beginning at 2 p.m. at Bridges Tennis Center.
Also, next Thursday, May 2, New Albany will also be represented in the individuals state tournament. Playing in that tournament are Mark Robbins (boys’ singles), Christian Scott/Christpher Scott (boys’ doubles), Hannah Anderson/Olivia Dunnam (girls’ doubles), Meghan Van/Katie Davis (girls’ doubles) and Walter Smith/Darby Mills (mixed doubles).
2013 4A North Half Finals
New Albany 5 Pontotoc 2
Mark Robbins(NA) defeated Ryan Henry(P) 6-0, 6-4
Morris Kelly Clayton (NA) defeated Sarah Hill (P) 7-5,6-3
Jacob Ferguson, Austin Anderson (P) defeated Christopher Shands, Christian Scott (NA) 6-2, 6-4
Parker Nail, Michael Crotts (NA) defeated Chet Wilson, Brayden Timmons(P) 6-2,6-2
Hannah Anderson ,Olivia Dunnam (NA) defeated Ivy Robbins, Kristen Pennington (P) 6-1.6-1
Katie Davis, Meghan Van (NA) defeated Ali Warren, Meredith Adam (P) 6-4,-60
Piercen Burchfield, Anna Rosenbaum (P) defeated Walter Smith, Darby Mills(NA) 7-6,0-6,TB (10-4)