The Lady Tigers and Tigers both won by 6-3 decisions at Holmes Community College on Friday, March 7 in the final set of games before a week-long spring break.
It was the second win of the campaign by Northeast’s men against a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs entered the contest at No. 18 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) nationwide poll.
Victories in all three doubles matches by the Tigers shifted the momentum to Northeast’s sideline for the remainder of the afternoon. Wesley Tye and Noah Wright claimed the widest margin with an 8-2 triumph over Justin Sawyer and John Crews.
The top-ranked combination of Micah Page and Wesley Brandon downed Dylan Throgmorton and Conner Willson 8-3 while the Bulldog pair of Will Godfrey and Rami Jamileh fell to Anderson Mills and Reid Price by the score of 8-5.
Price, an Alcorn Central High School product, improved his individual record to 4-1 after a 6-2, 6-2 win against Godfrey at No. 4 singles.
Tishomingo’s Page now stands at 3-2 in independent competition following another positive outcome at No. 1 with a 6-3, 6-0 outcome versus Devin Langham. Wright then closed the day for the Tigers with a flawless defeat of Crews 6-0, 6-0.
Three Lady Tigers, Hannah Billingsley, Erica Whitten and Haley Brown, were unbeaten in both doubles and singles action at Holmes.
The tandem of Whitten and Brown edged past Jennifer Rule and Katherine Wood 9-7 to grab a big point in the closest match of the evening.
Billingsley and her partner Allison Wiltshire took their doubles matchup as well 8-2 over Laurie Alvis and Lori Nesbitt.
Whitten upped her individual mark to a team-high 3-2 after a 6-1, 6-1 sweep of Nesbitt. Billingsley, Whitten’s fellow Booneville native, captured her outing against Liz Petro by an identical score.
Brown, an Iuka product, finished off Anna Claire Shores by a perfect 6-0, 6-0 margin at No. 6 singles to clinch the win for Northeast (1-4). Nikki Baird won the sixth point with a 6-3, 6-1 decision versus Wood.
(W) East Central 7, Northeast 2
(M) East Central 7, Northeast 2
Page pulled off the biggest victory of the afternoon on Tuesday, March 4 when he trounced Juan Miranda, who sits at No. 43 in the ITA’s individual rankings, by a 6-2, 6-1 score.
Price also claimed a come-from-behind point. After falling 3-6 in the opening set to Brandon St. Clair, the freshman rallied in the second 7-5 before winning the tiebreaker 10-7.
However, it would not be enough to push the Tigers (2-3) past the No. 17 Warriors in the second of three straight matches against teams that appear in the ITA countrywide poll.
In the women’s contest, Whitten and Brown were both impressive in the fifth and sixth ranked singles, respectively.
Whitten earned a hard fought 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 triumph against Hannah Smith while Brown notched a 6-2, 6-2 sweep of Lauren Peterson for Northeast’s two points.
(W) Meridian 9, Northeast 0
(M) Meridian 9, Northeast 0
The No. 14 Eagles, who boast two individuals and one tag team duo that is nationally ranked also, went to the brink in a handful of games against the Tigers.
Mills and Price pushed the No. 37 doubles team of Cody Gollenbeck and Will Rogers to their limits before the Meridian combo took an 8-6 decision.
In singles competition, Brandon and Price played solidly against Chris Mallet and Judson Watson, respectively. Both matches needed extra points with Mallet edging Belmont’s Brandon 7-5, 6-1 and Watson winning 7-6 (5), 6-2.
The Lady Tigers and Tigers open the gates of the newly refurbished Northeast Tennis Courts for the initial time after the break. Northeast hosts Holmes at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 21 in Booneville.