St. Aloysius tennis prepare for MAIS north state tournament

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, April 26, 2016

St. Aloysius tennis continues to have the advantage over its opponents.

The girls’ team placed first overall in the MAIS District 3-AAA tournament Monday at Halls Ferry Park. Individually, Elise Piazza, Allie Falls and Ann Stewart, Ashley Jarette and Taylor Chewning, Braxton Chewning and Natalie Jones, Adam Eckstein and Miles Harris all won first place in singles or doubles competition.

“It means a lot. We worked hard in the summer time to prepare for this,” St. Al tennis coach Rick Shields said.

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Manchester Academy claimed that overall honor on the boys’ side of the bracket. Also in participation were Central Hinds, Park Place Christian, Hartfield Academy and Riverfield Academy.

These individuals qualified for the 2016 MAIS North State tennis tournament in Greenville May 2, with at least one member of each school advancing.

“The same thing that went on here will go on up there. If we’re fortunate to win some there, we’ll go on to North State for the overall state (tournament),” Shields said.

Shields observed the plethora of games on display and was impressed watching the defending state champions — as well as a beaten opponent — Manchester.

“They came back ready to play. They played much tougher. I guess they must have went to the drawing board after we beat them and found out how we beat them,” Shields said.

The Mavericks fell short for the second time within a week of getting a win over the Flashes, but they didn’t make it easy.

“Our girls came through against them,” Shields said. “(Manchester) is young and they made some adjustments and played better.”

Speaking for his own team, Shields was impressed with the fight of his girls No. 2 doubles team of Chewning and Jarette against tough opponents.

“They’re seventh-graders. It’s new to them and they haven’t lost a match all year in district play,” Shields said.

The boys doubles duo of Adam Eckstein and Miles Harris also persevered to a win Monday with limited playing experience.

“They came together at this point and did a good job,” Shields said.

In Braxton Chewning’s and Natalie Jones’ second match as a mixed doubles team, they rallied back to beat a team that was victorious over them a week ago.

With a week’s worth of practice, Shields feels his team will head into North State prepared for what’s ahead.

“We see what we’re up against now, more so than the past. They see how hard they have to work next week,” Shields said. “We should be ready to go.”