McPhail adds depth to Lady Eagles
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
June 12, 2002
With her top three players coming back next year off a nationally ranked club, Meridian Community College women's tennis coach Wanda McPhail wanted to add depth to the Lady Eagles nest.
McPhail accomplished that goal with three signings on Tuesday at the Damon Fitness Center. Signing with MCC were Newton County's Melissa Kimbriel, Michelle Clearman of Brooklyn and Belle Naugher of Kosciusko. They join Bree Roberts of Fayette, Ala., who signed earlier this spring with MCC.
You really have to beat the bushes to find good women players. I think these three can come in and compete and help us in our 4-5-6 roles. With our returning sophomores, we've got a really good chance at going back to the nationals next year," McPhail said.
Playing singles will be a new experience for Kimbriel but she has already shown she is tough competitor in doubles. She and doubles partner Keri McDill reached the semi-finals of the Class 3A State Tournament.
Kimbriel has five years of doubles experience at Newton County, but singles play will be a challenge.
McPhail knows of Kimbriel's play having seen her against her former West Lauderdale teams.
Kimbriel added that she is planning on playing in the State Games of Mississippi's Youth Tennis Tournament set for June 21-23.
Clearman played for Forrest AHS in Brooklyn. She qualified for the State 3A Tournament but had to play the No. 1 seed in the first round.
She liked what she saw in McPhail and MCC.
Naugher has been playing tennis for just a year but she was a good athlete at Koscuisko having played soccer and softball for the Lady Whippets.
Naugher is actually coming to MCC on an art scholarship but she also wants to continue playing tennis. She played mixed doubles at Kosciusko and her team made it to the second round of the 4A Tennis Tournament.