Lafayette tennis defeats Saltillo to clinch third straight 5A North Half title

Published 5:33 pm Monday, April 19, 2021

Lafayette tennis is returning to Jackson to reclaim its crown this week.

The Commodores defeated Saltillo 6-1 at the John Leslie Tennis Complex on Monday in the MHSAA Class 5A North Half championship. It is the third straight North Half title for Lafayette, who won it in 2018 and 2019.

Last year’s season was canceled in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In 2018, Lafayette (10-7) defeated Stone County to win the the 5A state championship and their first in program history. The following year, Stone avenged their loss. The Commodores return to Parham Bridges Tennis Center on Thursday to try and regain the 5A title.

Lafayette will play Brookhaven, who defeated Long Beach 6-1 in the 5A South Half championship, in the 5A state championship

Prior to Monday’s playoff match, the two teams met on April 1 with Lafayette coming away with the 5-2 victory over the Tigers to clinch the region championship. Despite Monday’s score being one point better, the Commodores came out a little tight and had to regroup mid match in.

“I think the matchups were favorable for us and we got ahead and we kind of got a tight,” said Lafayette head coach Debbie Swindoll. “The thing that I’ve got to remember for them is it’s been two years since we’ve been (in the playoffs). But, we did come out on top.”

Lafayette took both singles points with Nate Leary defeating Saltillo’s Chase Bailey 6-0, 6-0 and Alex Lampton defeating Annabelle Collum 6-2, 6-0.

In the girl’s doubles, the Commodores took both points with wins by the team of Hudson Lindsay and Val Smith (6-0, 7-5) as well as Lucy Wilson and Jenna Lampton (6-4, 6-0).

Lafayette won the mixed doubles point with a 6-7, 6-4, 1-0 win by Brett Lampton and Presleigh Loper.

Saltillo’s lone point came from splitting the two boy’s doubles matches. Lafayette’s Hayden Williams and Porter Lindsay won their match 7-6, 6-2 but the team of Matt Addy and Jake Leary dropped their match 0-6, 0-6 to Saltillo’s Houston Walker and Cade Teeple.

“The schedule we played (in the regular season, I’ve got to go back to that,” Swindoll said of Lafayette’s dominance in the playoffs.

The Commodores swept both Ridgeland 7-0 in the first round and Cleveland Central in the second round to advance to Monday’s North Half title match.

The Class 5A state championship will be at Noon on Thursday.