Lafayette sets school record with three individual championships at state tournament

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

This week was a dream-come-true for Debbie Swindoll.

The Lafayette tennis head coach led her team to its fourth team state championship in the past five seasons on Monday before her players claimed three more individual championships on Thursday as they claimed state titles in girls’ singles, girls’ doubles and mixed doubles.

Sophomore Finn Rico and junior Bentli Spicer won the mixed doubles title after pulling off back-to-back upsets over No. 2-seed Brookhaven and top seeded Long Beach in the final two rounds.

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Senior Presleigh Loper and freshman Jenna Kate Lampton also came away with a state championship as they defeated top-seeded Brookhaven in straight sets (7-5, 6-4) in the girls’ doubles final.

The performance of the day came from Alexandra Lampton however as the junior avenged a tough loss to Laurel’s Micah Hill in last year’s semifinal with a victory over the Golden Tornadoes’ senior in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker.

“I was just taking it point by point and trying not to get mental like last year,” Lampton said. “I just tried to be positive about everything because it meant a lot to me.”

The trio of state championships marked the most individual championships in a single season in school history as they closed out an historic week that fulfilled a dream years in the making for Swindoll.

“My lifelong dream was to get what we had [this week],” Swindoll said. “To have [the team championships] here for the first time and for our community to see it and for us to be in the forefront here and win it here was a dream for me.”