West tennis captures state runners-up title

Apr. 26—West Lauderdale High School's tennis team finished the season with a lot to celebrate, winning two state runners-up titles and giving several strong performances in the Mississippi 4A tennis championships.

Earlier this week, during the team tennis championships played at Halls Ferry Tennis Courts in Vicksburg, West Lauderdale claimed the 4A State Runners-Up title. It is the first time West has reached the state team finals under the new playoff team format.

"It is one of the strongest teams we have had. They all started in seventh and eighth grade and bought into the team and were very dedicated, and it paid off," said assistant coach Amy Fairchild, who has been a longtime coach with the team.

Five of West's seven lines also qualified during district tournaments to compete in the state 4A individual tennis championships, which were played Tuesday and Wednesday in Vicksburg.

One West player, Emma Bounds, brought home the Mississippi 4A Runner-Up title in girls singles. Bounds won both her first round and quarterfinal matches 6-0, 6-1 and her semifinal match 7-5, 7-5 before falling to a tough girls singles player from New Albany High School, 0-6, 0-6.

Mixed doubles team, Grant Butler and Kate Smith, won their first round and quarterfinals matches, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively, before falling to a mixed doubles team from Northeast Jones High School in a tiebreaker during the semifinals, 0-6, 6-4 (10-2).

West's line 1 girls doubles team, Elizabeth Shirley and Katherine Bounds, won their first round and quarterfinals matches, 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively, but couldn't overcome another tough team from New Albany in the semifinals, falling 3-6, 3-6.

Line 1 boys doubles team, Miles McAlister and Hayden Williams, also won their first round and quarterfinals matches, 6-3, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-2, but fell to the eventual state champion team from New Albany, 1-6, 2-6.

Other West tennis players who played in the state team tournament were Jaxon Hatcher and Noah Rank in boys line 2 doubles, Olivia Shirley and Lexie Bryce Vinet in girls line 2 doubles and Brayden Combs in boys singles. Combs also qualified to play in the boys singles individual championship.

Three of West's seniors, Elizabeth Shirley, Katherine Bounds and Hayden Williams, have all committed to playing tennis at Meridian Community College in the fall.

Contact Glenda Sanders at