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 April 15, 2014

Booneville, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College men’s tennis team continues to rise to the occasion against nationally ranked programs.

The Tigers and East Central Community College entered the last match of the evening in a stalemate, but the Warriors grabbed the decisive point and took the meeting 5-4 at the Northeast Tennis Courts on Tuesday, April 1.

East Central leaped to an early 2-1 lead with victories in two of the three doubles games. The Tigers got on the scoreboard with an 8-5 triumph by the No. 3 duo of Wesley Tye and Noah Wright against Brandon St. Clair and Ethan Rigdon.

Tye and Wright continued their stellar afternoon against the Warriors, who entered the contest at No. 25 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) countrywide poll, in singles competition.

Tye’s individual matchup against Rigdon required a 10-point tiebreaker, but the freshman secured a huge 7-5, 1-6, 10-4 decision for Northeast (3-6).

Wright followed his former Booneville High School teammate with a sweep of Tanner Moore at No. 6 by scores of 6-2, 6-4. It was the fifth singles triumph in a row for Wright.

Reid Price improved his personal record to a team-best 6-3 with a second win this year over St. Clair. After needing a tiebreaker to determine their inaugural meeting in March, Price took care of business in straight sets 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

East Central took the No. 2 and No. 3 singles contests to set up a winner-take-all showdown at No. 1 between Micah Page and Juan Miranda, who sits at No. 43 in the ITA’s individual rankings.

Page defeated Miranda earlier in the season in commanding fashion. However, Miranda beat the Tishomingo native in a very close matchup 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) to clinch the victory for the Warriors.

East Central claimed the women’s contest 7-2, but Allie Downs extended her recent good fortune on the court with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph against Katlyn Patrick.

Downs, a sophomore from Booneville, has garnered wins in three out of her last four outings at No. 6 singles for the Lady Tigers (2-7).

Emily Wiltshire downed Hannah Smith on No. 5 with a score of 6-0, 6-3 to capture Northeast’s second point of the matchup.

(W) Northwest 7, Northeast 2; (M) Northwest 7, Northeast 2

Tye and Wright came through again for the Tigers with success against the Rangers in Senatobia on Tuesday, March 25.

Tye swept Weston Hood 6-4, 6-2 while Wright snatched a hard fought 6-4, 6-7, 10-7 decision from Chip Malone.

Haley Brown and Erica Whitten increased their winning streak at No. 2 doubles to three games with an 8-2 triumph versus the Lady Ranger combination of Ashley Roberson and Julia Roberson.

Downs also notched another victory in straight sets at 6-3, 6-2 over Hannah Waldrip at No. 6 singles.

(W) Jones County 9, Northeast 0; (M) Jones County 7, Northeast 2

Page and Wright both upped their individual marks to 5-4, second highest on the team behind Price, with positive outcomes versus the 18th-ranked Bobcats on Friday, March 28.

Page edged past Graham Lightsey at No. 1 singles 7-6 (3), 6-4 while Wright conquered Caleb Byrd 6-1, 6-4.

Price participated in a pair of close matches of his own, but could not prevail in either. The Alcorn Central High School alumnus fell in a tiebreaker 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 to Ryan Young at No. 4 singles while the combo of Price and Anderson Mills lost to Eric Swisher and Ryan Young 9-8 (0) at No. 2 doubles.

The Lady Tigers could not gain a point against No. 20 Jones County with Lindsey Clark and Nikki Baird participating in the closest match, an 8-2 loss on No. 3 doubles to Krissy Stutts and Elizabeth Wright.

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