Solid depth has Eagles eyeing title
FOCUS Meridian's Kevin McDonald is undefeated in Region 23. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
April 5, 2002
Depth has been a big reason behind the Meridian Community College men's tennis team's push toward a berth in the National Junior College Tennis Championships.
The Eagles of head coach Wanda McPhail are unbeaten in Region 23 play this season. The team currently sports an overall record of 10-3 following a win Tuesday over Copiah Lincoln.
The MCC Lady Eagles, meanwhile, are looking forward to hosting the Mississippi Community and Junior College and Region 23 Tournament on April 19-21 at Northeast Park in Meridian.
McPhail, who was the tennis coach at West Lauderdale High School before taking over at MCC, has been busy gearing up both teams for the post-season.
What most junior college teams don't have is a rising player like Bobby Barton at No. 3. Then there is the tough doubles team at No. 3 in the Quitman pair of Kevin McDonald and Dustin Davidson.
McDonald has been around tennis for a number of years playing at Quitman High School. Davidson hasn't. He is in only his second year of competitive tennis.
The team has become formidable.
McPhail says Davidson did bring to the game a valuable skill.
Today and Saturday, the Eagles face two of their toughest rivals when Itawamba CC and Gulf Coast visit for matches at Northeast Park.
The No. 2 Eagles doubles team consists of Barton who is from Sour Lake, Texas and Meridian's Brad Dearman. Will Wiggins, also of Sour Lake, Texas is the No. 1 player and he teams up with Matt McElhaney in No. 1 doubles.
The MCJCA and Region 23 Tournament for the men is set for April 27-29 at Pearl River CC in Poplarville. The top two teams advance to the National Tournament which will be in Plano, Tex.
The MCC women are 6-6-1 on the season. They are led by standout freshman Charlotte Heidelberg of Pascagoula who is 11-1 in womens No. 1 singles play.
The Lady Eagles are rounded out by Amanda Bailey, Cassie Joyner and Jill Hathorn.