WC tennis takes first loss of year

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Warren Central tangled with one of the best high school tennis teams Mississippi has to offer, and for the first time this season it did not come away unscathed.

The Vikings lost two matches in third-set tiebreakers and suffered their first team loss of the season, 5-2 to Newton County on Monday. Newton County has finished as the Class 4A runner-up each of the past four seasons.

Warren Central fell to 5-1 on the season, with three more matches scheduled for this week. It’ll play Class 3A power Madison-St. Joseph on the road today, and then hosts Brookhaven on Thursday and crosstown rival Vicksburg on Friday.

Alex Velazquez

Alex Velazquez

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“We were two tiebreakers from a win, and it truly should have been one,” Warren Central coach Jeff Pilgrim said. “I am still happy. Our boys definitely have played better, but our girls are playing great. They are competitive with top players in the state and we didn’t have that last year. They have really increased the level of their game in one year.”

Warren Central’s Alex Velazquez won 6-1, 6-2 in boys singles and the mixed doubles team of Joseph Jabour and Amanda Boleware won 6-2, 6-0.

Newton County scored easy wins in girls singles and No. 1 boys doubles, as well as a 6-3, 6-3 win over WC’s Madison Kendall and Skyler Gibson in No. 2 girls doubles. The other two matches came down to the wire.

Newton County won in No. 1 girls doubles by beating Alexa Jeffers and Olivia White 6-2, 4-6, 8-10. In No. 2 boys doubles, its team beat Warren Central’s George Wilkerson and Brent Styles 3-6, 6-2, 10-6.

“The main thing is we were competitive in all but one match, and we need to continue to compete in every match in order to beat teams that are that caliber,” Pilgrim said. “Which, in turn, means we are that caliber team this year.”