MSMS tennis team loses to Tupelo Christian

The+tennis+team%27s+winning+streak+ended+this+Monday+after+a+match+against+Tupelo+Christian.

Karlene Deng

The tennis team’s winning streak ended this Monday after a match against Tupelo Christian.

Jessica Yan, SGA Correspondent

The MSMS tennis team’s winning streak came to an end on Monday, April 19.

After advancing undefeated to the state semifinals with 7-0 scores against both Bruce High School and Thrasher High School, the MSMS team lost 1-6 against Tupelo Christian. Luke Bowles and Hardy Cooke were the only players who pulled off a win, in boys’ doubles.

However, coaches Troy and Tonya King and the team knew they were going against a tough opponent after defeating Thrasher High School, and they would have to give it their all to advance to the finals.

“I felt really confident about our chances,” Troy King said. “We have a team that is capable and willing to take on a very dominant team like Tupelo Christian. We went into the match knowing what was needed to do to pull off the upset.”

The MSMS players faced the court with trepidation.

“It was nerve-racking to go in a match that would determine if our team could go to state or not. We heard that they won state three years in a row, so we all had our doubts going into the game,” junior Destiny Van said. “It was really intimidating. However, the coaches and the whole team reassured us that we would try our best even if we lost.”

Still, the players said they gave it their best shot.

“Going into the match, I knew that we needed to show up and play to the best of our ability,” junior Avery Short said. “Kate McElhinney and I have improved together and individually, and I feel like we both gave our best in the match.” 

Similarly, Van felt that she and Balee Wilson put forth a good effort in their doubles match despite some initial troubles.

“In the beginning, we started off a little shaky in the first set. However, with Balee’s encouragement the whole time, I picked up my pace and did better. We lost the first set, but the second set was a close game. Although we lost, I am super proud of my team and my partner. I couldn’t have asked for anybody better,” Van said.

Junior Sam Sun recalled the mistakes in his tough match against a top-seeded singles player in the state.

“Heading into the match, I knew it was gonna be a difficult match since the guy that I played was seeded second in the state,” Sun said. “However, I think 95% of the reason why I lost was because of my own inconsistency. My first serve percentage was probably lower than 40%, and I missed countless forehands that should’ve been easy winners.” 

With the individual state tennis championship coming up from April 26 to 27, the coaches are hoping that their qualified players can pull off an individual win for the team.

“We are looking forward to playing on that third day in the finals. We have some players that can really make a strong push into the championship round,” King said. “I hope and pray that they can at least win an individual championship. That would really ease the pain of not holding that team trophy in our hands.” 

Regardless of the loss, the team previously had an undefeated record this season, and the junior players are already setting goals and looking ahead to improving next season.

“Since this is my first year playing tennis, I was new to all this, but next year, I am going to come back stronger. I’m excited for the upcoming juniors, but I am sad that the seniors are leaving,” Van said. “We had a good run even though we didn’t make it to the state finals. I am glad to be a part of such an amazing team and lucky to meet such amazing people.”