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STATE CHAMPIONS: Turner, Laird of SHS claim 5A doubles title

May 9, 2012

Starkville High School tennis players Emily Turner, front from left, and Hannah Laird wear their state championship medals, while SHS athletic director Stan Miller, back from left, coach Anna Albritton and coach Rob Fyke were on hand for the accomplishment. (Submitted photo)

RIDGELAND – For Emily Turner and Hannah Laird, it will be two days that they never forget.

Sophomore Turner and freshman Laird captured the Class 5A Girls' Doubles State Championship on Tuesday in Ridgeland.

The tournament started Monday with a first round win over Moss Point, 6-2, 6-0. They then beat Gautier 6-2, 6-0.

Tuesday may have been the toughest day. They beat a team from Oxford 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and then beat another Oxford team in the championship match 6-1, 6-1.

"Both of them had success on the court throughout the year, but this week they really put it together and played exceptional tennis," SHS tennis coach Rob Fyke said. "Their scores reflect that. They played against all four of those quality tennis teams. None of the four matches were ever in doubt including the finals. The final match against a really good Oxford team. Both of them are young players and we are expecting good things for them in the future."

The Yellowjackets had 12 individuals compete this week.

Brian Xu and Lewis Maynard also made it to the semifinals. In the first round they beat Long Beach 6-7, 6-1, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, they passed Wayne County with a score of 6-2, 6-2. They eventually lost to state champs Oxford 2-6, 3-6 in the semifinals.

Richard Hill and Mikala Taylor competed in mixed doubles. In the first round, they took a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Saltillo. They beat Center Hill in the quarterfinals with a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. They lost to Stone County 2-6, 3-6 in the semis.

In boys singles action, Will Irvin lost in the first round to Hernando 3-6, 2-6.

Dasha Bondarenko won in the first round of girls singles play 6-2, 6-0 against Long Beach. She lost to Mia Kent of Ridgleand 1-6, 1-6 in the quarterfinals. Kent went on to win the state championship.

In boys doubles action, Jack Bryan and Nick Elder beat Pascagoula 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round. They lost to Oxford in the second round 2-6, 0-6.

Ashley Albritton and Christine Mazzola competed in girls doubles. They beat Hernando 7-5, 6-1 in the first round. They lost in the second round to Stone County 2-6, 3-6.

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