The Wildcats had a total of 10 players in all five divisions qualify for the 4A Individual State Tournaments which will be held at the Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson on May 1.
“I’m very proud of my players,” Cleveland High head tennis coach Memorie Naron said. “They did a great job and now we’re looking forward to state.”
Cleveland had individual region champions in all three doubles divisions. The team of sophomores Lorna Leigh Rogers and Merrill Dean Rogers won the girls doubles division by winning both of their matches on the day. Lorna Leigh and Merrill Dean defeated their fellow teammates of senior Mary Parker Janoush and sophomore Shelby Swafford, who won two of their three matches, in the championship match. With Janoush and Swafford making the championship match, they also qualified for state and will give Cleveland two girls doubles teams in the individual state tournament.
Cleveland’s Nick Bosworth and Matt Hardman won all three of their matches on the day and ended up winning the boys doubles division. Hardman and Bosworth, both seniors, defeated Greenwood’s Senior Henderson and Ryan Harris in straight 6-2, 6-0 in the championship match.
Even though they didn’t qualify for state, Cleveland’s young boys team of Daniel Woo and Austin Joost had a strong showing as they went 1-1 in the tournament. Woo and Joost are both eighth graders.
In the mixed doubles division, Cleveland’s Ashley Braydon Horton and Parker Joost took the top spot by blanking Greenwood’s John Wheeler and Symone Crawford in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 in the championship match. Horton and Joost went a perfect 2-0 in the region tournament.
In boys singles action, Cleveland freshman Cole Thomas and Greenwood senior Keith Holmes had a nice dual in the championship match. Holmes won the first set 6-3 but Thomas battled Holmes hard in the second set as they were tied 6-6 and had to go to a tiebreaker. Holmes ended up prevailing in the tiebreaker and won the set 7-6 to give him the region championship. Thomas, who went 1-1 on the day, still qualified for the boys singles state tournament.
In girls singles action, Cleveland’s Frances Varner and Tierney Holmes battled in a three-set thriller in the championship match. Varner won the first set 6-4 and the two battled to 6-6 in the second set to force a tiebreaker. Holmes was able to push the match to a third set by winning the tiebreaker to secure a 7-6 win in the second set to force a third set. In the third set, Holmes was able to take the region title by winning 6-2. Varner will still advance to the state tournament in the girls singles division.
Cleveland High School will also be involved in the 4A State Team Tennis Playoffs. As a team, Cleveland captured the Region 3-4A Title during the regular season and will be a number one seed in the playoffs. Cleveland will host Lafayette County (the No. 2 seed from Region 2) in the first round on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. behind the cafeteria at Delta State University.