TUPELO, Miss. – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College women's team had a fantastic outing this week at the MACJC State Tournament/NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament. Four Lady Wolves advanced to the championship match in singles, while all three doubles teams played in the finals. Ashlyn Locke, a sophomore from Brookhaven, won her championship singles match at No. 5 singles, while Carmen Manicea and Paula Coronado won No. 1 singles. The stellar play landed the Lady Wolves the overall championship as Co-Lin edged out Jones College 27 to 26 in total points. The MACJC State Championship/NJCAA Region XXIII title is the fourth in Co-Lin's women's tennis history and the first since 2002. The win qualifies the Lady Wolves for the 2019 NJCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship played at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas on May 5 through May 10, 2019.
The Lady Wolves dominated the opening rounds of the tournament as the top-seeded Coronado cruised to the semifinals at No. 1 singles after defeating Holmes' Alexis Kahmann 6-0, 6-0. Manicea, the number two seed in her draw, also advanced to the semis with ease as she defeated Maggie Creekmore, from Itawamba, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2 singles. Katy Clark, the two seed in the No. 3 singles draw advanced to the semis with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Gulf Coast's Destin Davis, while Kara Clark, the three seed in No. 4 singles, outlasted ICC's Caroline Ferguson 7-6 (2), 6-3. Locke advanced to the semifinals after blanking Holmes' Mackenzie Hunt 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 singles, while Madison Shows upset the number two seed Kayla Baucum of East Central, 6-4, 6-1 to advance.
Coronado fell in the semis to Meridian's Kennedy Rodriguez in a tiebreaker after splitting sets, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (8). Manicea also fell in the semis as Zoe Freke of Meridian won, 6-3, 6-1. Katy Clark moved on to the championship after roaring back from a 3-6 first set deficit in the semis to Elisiva Latu of Meridian. Clark blanked Latu in the second set 6-0 and won the match in a tiebreaker 10-2. Kara Clark upset the second-seeded Kaitlyn Craig of Jones in the semis 7-5, 6-4. Locke made a nice comeback at No. 5 singles as she downed the two seed, Dixie Hodges of Jones. Locke dropped the first set 4-6, but won the second 6-2, and took the match with a 10-2 tiebreaker. Madison Shows also advanced to the finals with a 4-6, 6-0 1-0 (0) come-from-behind win over Hinds' Courtney Buffington.
Katy Clark fell to the one seed, Danielle Vijoen of Jones College, 6-3, 6-3 in the finals, while Kara Clark lost a hard-fought match to the one seed Rachel Van Horn of Meridian, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the championship match. Locke claimed the No. 5 singles draw title in the finals as she upset the one seed, Bethany Wellerman of East Central, 6-3, 6-4. Shows had a strong showing in the championship but fell to the one seed, Judith Mills of Jones College, 6-4, 6-4.
The Lady Wolves shined in doubles play as Coronado and Manicea paired up at No.1, the Clark sister teamed up at No. 2, and McKenzie Shows teamed up with her sister Madison at No. 3.
Coronado/Manicea, the three seed in the No. 1 draw, moved to the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1 over Itawamba, before taking down the second-seeded Meridian Lady Eagles in a tough, three-set win, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The pair faced Jones College's Ariadna Jordan and Mireia Jordan, the top seed, in the finals, and won a wild 0-6, 6-3, 6-0 match to earn the No. 1 doubles state championship.
Clark/Clark dropped just two games on their way to the finals as the sisters defeated both Gulf Coast and Hinds 6-0, 6-1. In the finals, the pair met Meridian's Kennedy Rodriguez and Rachael Van Horn. The Lady Eagles defeated the twins, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
Shows/Shows, the two seed in the No. 3 doubles draw defeated Meridian, 6-1, 6-4 in the semis, but dropped the championship to Jones College in a three-set thriller, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Co-Lin's trip to Tyler, Texas in May is the first team bid the Lady Wolves have earned since 2003. For more information on the Lady Wolves visit colinathletics.com or follow @colianthletics on Twitter.
BY: Lucas Calvert
Co-lin Sports Information