Lafayette advances to seventh straight North Half final with win over New Hope

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six…


LeBron James may not have been able to deliver on his iconic promise of seven championships to Miami Heat fans back in 2010 but Lafayette tennis coach Debbie Swindoll and her team have done their best impression of the King over the last decade as they secured their seventh consecutive trip to the North Half final with a 5-2 victory over New Hope Wednesday in the third round of the MHSAA Class 5A team playoffs.

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The Commodores took care of business early, winning the first four matches to clinch the victory as Alexandra Lampton defeated New Hope’s Caroline Clay (6-0, 6-0) in girls’ singles, Jenna Lampton and Bentli Spicer defeated the Trojans’ Addison Vickers and Jorja Unruh (6-0, 6-0) in girls’ doubles, Presleigh Loper and Presley Thomas defeated Ella Sylvest and Hunter Hollis in girls’ doubles and Crosse Lindsay and Finn Rico defeated Zach Dumas and Jeremiah Williams (6-2, 6-4) in boys’ doubles.

Swindoll spoke highly of Lampton’s performance in the singles’ match, saying that she expects “big things” from the junior this postseason after a tough semifinal loss in the individual tournament last year.

“She’s had a fantastic year this year. Both Lampton girls have had fantastic years — as good of years as they’ve had for me in the regular season,” Swindoll said. “[We’re] expecting big things from them.”

Swindoll also heaped praise on senior Crosse Lindsay, who serves as a sort of elder statesmen for a young group full of sophomores, freshmen and middle schoolers.

“The steadiness of Crosse — he’s calm and the other guys kind of get, they’re just young and can get rattled some but Crosse is just steady, steady, steady. Not a lot shakes him,” she said.

The ‘Dores dropped their first match of the afternoon in boys’ singles when Matthew Addy dropped a hotly-contested third-set tiebreaker to New Hope’s Jackson Grady (6-2, 2-6, 10-5).

They quickly bounced back with a victory in the second boys’ doubles match as Porter Lindsay and Mason Duffie defeated Gavin Robles and Tyson Phinisey (6-2, 6-4).

They were unable to finish out off the final match of the afternoon however, falling in the mixed doubles competition as Tate Spicer and Charlotte Thorton dropped a tiebreaker against Tray Robinson and Katie Hayes (2-6, 7-4, 3-10).

Lafayette will take on the winner of Thursday’s contest between Saltillo and Neshoba Central in the North Half final next week as they seek their third consecutive state championship.