Warren Central tops Porter’s Chapel in tennis match-up

Published 9:03 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

In the battle of Building vs. Rebuilding, both sides came away pretty happy on Monday.

Warren Central’s tennis team rolled to a 6-1 victory over Porter’s Chapel Academy to continue an upward trend after a down season. The Vikings went winless in 2022, but improved to 4-8 this spring.

“Last year, out of 14 matches, we lost eight 3-4. Just couldn’t find that fourth point. This year they’re very, very young but all these kids have been in my program for a few years and they’re starting to round the corner,” Warren Central coach Steve Summers said. “I’m seeing a lot of really competitive tennis. We haven’t figured out how to finish just yet, but we’re getting there.”

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Warren Central did not drop a set in its six match victories Monday, and in fact only lost six out of 36 games in those matches.

In mixed doubles, Sam Harris and Gracie Summers beat Sophie Masterson and Noah LaBarre 6-0, 6-1.  Duke Esparza and Brady Taylor beat Corbin Bass and John McGee 6-1, 6-2 in No. 2 boys’ doubles.

In girls’ doubles, Sydney Sullivan and Lili Feibelman won 6-0, 6-0 over Sarah Felker and Peyton Combs in the No. 1 position. At No. 2, Laura Bailey and Amelia King defeated Marley Bufkin and Chelsea Fuller 6-1, 6-1.

Blakeney Allen and Audrey Jennings both won 6-0, 6-0 in the boys’ and girls’ singles matches vs. Nick Neihaus and Hadleigh Slayton, respectively. Allen and Jennings are the only two seniors in Warren Central’s lineup.

“All year, they’ve been my strongest courts. If we’re in it or not depends on what they do. If they’re able to hold their courts, we’re in it if I can find one or two more courts somewhere else,” Summers said. “Audrey has been my best player, boy or girl, since she’s been on the team.”

Although the overall team competition did not go its way, Porter’s Chapel had something to celebrate as it earned the first individual match victory in the program’s brief existence.

The No. 1 boys’ doubles team of Thomas Azlin and Henry Slayton defeated Warren Central’s Charlie Esparza and Charles Harris 7-6, 6-1.

Azlin said it was the first time he’d ever played competitive tennis.

“We just got warmed up and played better together,” Slayton said.

PCA only played two team matches last season, and was shut out in both. This was the first of seven matches on its schedule this year. Its next one is Friday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Riverfield Academy, at Halls Ferry Park.

“First PC-dub,” Slayton said. “This is our second year just trying to build up a team. We’ve got more people this year. We have great coaches.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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