Flashes wrap up tennis season at MAIS Class 5A state tournament

Published 10:35 am Friday, April 26, 2024

Carrie Wood and Walker Moore only lost one mixed doubles tennis match all season. Unfortunately, it was the last one.

The St. Aloysius team lost the last two sets after winning the first, then dropped a wild third set and lost 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 against Pillow Academy’s John Carter Walker and Millie Smith in the championship match of the MAIS Class 5A state tournament on Thursday.

Wood and Moore were up 4-0 in the final set, but watched the commanding lead evaporate. They hadn’t lost a match or a set until the state finals.

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Wood and Moore beat Lamar School’s Ann Revere Davis and Ryan McDaniel 6-1, 7-5 in the semifinals Thursday.

“They played a really good match against a great team and just came up a little bit short,” St. Al coach Rick Shields said. “They never stopped fighting. They were in it and played some really good tennis.”

Wood and Moore’s run to the mixed doubles final was the highlight of a tough day for the Flashes at Ridgeland Tennis Center. They reached the Class 5A state tournament in three other brackets, but none of those players got past the semifinals.

Michael Moore lost 6-1, 6-3 to eventual champion Walker Cox of Bayou Academy in the No. 2 boys’ singles tournament.

In No. 2 girls’ doubles, Hendrix Eldridge lost 6-3, 6-1 to Bayou’s Chandler Harris.

The No. 2 boys’ doubles team of Caleb Stewart and Ryan Davidson also lost to a team from Bayou, Thomas Logan and Turner Haynes, 6-1, 6-0. Logan and Haynes went on to win the Class 5A championship.

“This is their first time playing together,” Shields said of Stewart and Davidson. “They did well all year. They went undefeated together in district.”

The good news for St. Al is that all six players who played Thursday will be back next season. Stewart, Davidson and Wood are all juniors. Walker Moore is in eighth grade, Michael Moore is in seventh, and Eldridge is a freshman.

Walker Moore reached the state tournament for the second year in a row. Davidson and Wood got there for the third time after playing with other doubles partners in 2022 and 2023.

Shields said he was looking forward to those players continuing to improve over the summer and fall, and hopefully making another run at a state championship next season.

“It’s a good thing because we’ll do well in the South again. It’s how we do at the state level,” Shields said.